Woodlawn Fire Station holds grand opening celebration
The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department (FCFRD), county officials and local residents celebrated the grand opening of the Woodlawn Fire Station on Lukens Lane in Alexandria on the morning of Feb. 19.
The new facility — more than 15,000 square feet with two floors and four drive-through apparatus bays for emergency vehicles — is significantly larger than its predecessor, which was located next door and continued being used until the new fire station’s completion. Construction of the new facility began back in December 2019 and wrapped up on-schedule in May 2021, when Station 24 personnel moved in. The project was closed out with the demolition of the old fire station, paving of the parking area, landscaping and site work, according to FCFRD spokesperson Ashley Hildebrandt.
Fire and rescue personnel, including the three women serving with Station 24, have access to bunk rooms, an exercise room, locker and shower rooms, and a kitchen, dayroom and dining room. One of the firefighters’ favorite features of the facility, said Hildebrandt, is the large apparatus bays with bi-fold doors that open faster, improving response times.
Perhaps one of the most unique elements and special touches to the new Woodlawn facility is a mural gracing the stairwell. Painted by firefighter artist Michael Furman, the artwork depicts firefighters in action and includes some realistic props for a 3D effect.
The new fire station, designed by BKV Group in partnership with Pacheco Ross Architects, and built by Scheibel Construction, has won several awards, including a 2021 James M. Scott Exceptional Design Award; NAIOP Northern Virginia’s 2021 Build-to-Suit Institutional Award of Excellence; and the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the American Public Works Association’s 2022 Project of the Year award for structures between $5 million to $25 million.
The building’s energy-efficient systems enabled it to achieve LEED Gold certification, and as soon as solar panels are installed and operational, it will become Fairfax County’s first LEED Platinum facility, according to Chris Herrington, director of Fairfax County Public Works and Environmental Services.
Fairfax County Fire Chief John Butler hailed the work of Woodlawn Fire Station personnel for their service during the building transition period between July 2020 and December 2021. During that time, Station 24 responded to 545 incidents, 30 of which were structural fires, and nearly 3,200 EMS calls, said Butler. “Fire fighters in Fairfax County kept working and serving their community … They didn’t go on hiatus for your sake,” he told community members attending the ceremony.
Butler also credited Fairfax County with investing in public safety and community service, noting that the county “puts its money where its mouth is.”
The approximately $9.7 million station was funded by a 2015 bond measure approved by voters.