Renovating Fairborn’s 139-year-old former Fire Station #1, a project earmarked for up to $2 million in federal funds, is expected to take up to 18 months.
A future tenant for the 29 N. Broad St. site called iconic by city officials will be chosen from submitted proposals in a process Fairborn expects to start soon, City Manager Rob Anderson said.
Anderson said the city has so far had conversations with four groups interested in using the site, for which the largest chunk of Fairborn’s nearly $6.8 million of the American Rescue Plan Act funds has been dedicated.
“Staff will review the proposals and work with city council to select the proposal that best fits the property and will have the biggest positive impact on other downtown businesses,” Anderson said in an email.
Fairborn City Council Monday night approved the pick of a general contractor to renovate the building. Energy Systems Group has an office in Dayton, but is headquartered in Newburgh, Ind., according to its website.
“They’re going to look for as much energy efficiency as we can possibly afford,” Anderson told city council Monday night.
The renovation completion time will be dependent “on lead times for different equipment,” he added.
Only one other area of spending — $1 million for stormwater projects — was earmarked for more than $500,000 in ARPA funds.
Economic development, the Memorial Park construction and projects benefitting nonprofits/small businesses were all designated to receive $500,000, city documents show.
The importance of preserving the former fire station was stressed by several city council members.
“The firehouse is one of those iconic buildings in Fairborn,” Councilman Clint Allen said. “And we’re trying to continue to keep relevant and keep purposeful.”
The Broad Street structure was built in 1884 as a Bath Twp. schoolhouse in the village of Fairfield, according to Dayton Daily News records.
After a new Bath Twp. school opened in 1924 on North Central Avenue, the Broad Street site was converted into a multipurpose facility. Fairfield City Hall and the Fairfield Fire Department shared the property.
On Jan. 1, 1950, the villages Fairfield and Osborn officially merged to become the incorporated city of Fairborn. Around that time, the building was dedicated as a firehouse and was renamed Fairborn Fire Station #1, city records show.
It was vacated on Jan. 5, 2007, when the new Fairborn Fire Department Station #1 was completed down the street on 495 N. Broad St., according to the city.
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