The city of Columbus has gotten the ball rolling on rebuilding Fire Station 2 downtown.
Columbus City Council May 5 authorized legislation to hire DLZ Architecture to begin the design phase of the station, located at the corner of East Fulton and South Fourth streets.
Assistant Chief Kent Searle said the 13,986-square-foot station, built in 1962, is one of the busiest and largest in the Columbus Division of Fire, housing 26 firefighters in each of three shifts per day.
That includes a high-risk task force, two engines, a ladder, a dive team for water rescue and the bomb squad.
Meanwhile, the Division of Fire is in the process of building Station 3, a state-of-the-art facility at 222 Greenlawn Ave. Construction began Sept. 23, 2013.
The $8.2 million, 27,020-square-foot facility contains a total of six bays for firefighting apparatus, administrative offices, a kitchen and 22 sleeping rooms.
The basement area will house storage for the Bomb Squad and K-9 units as well as a multi-purpose exercise and training room.
Searle said Station 3 should be complete by December.
Then, the entire staff of Fire Station 2, 150 E. Fulton St., will be relocated to Greenlawn while the downtown location is razed next winter.
Fire Station 2 will be built on the same site as the current station, but will be slightly smaller because the lot is not big enough to accommodate modern-day facilities, Searle said.
What its design or amenities will be have yet to be finalized, but it likely will contain three bays. An engine, a medic unit and a ladder or rescue unit are expected to be assigned to the station, he said.
It is estimated to cost between $6 million and $7.5 million and be completed by mid-2016.
Searle said Fire Station 2 serves most of German Village and half of downtown, along with Fire Station 1 at 300 N. Fourth St.
"Those two stations are important for our high-rises in that area," he said.