OPELIKA, AL (WTVM) - The City of Opelika has big plans for massive upgrades to its first responder facilities.
On Friday, a groundbreaking will take place on a new multi-million dollar headquarters for the Opelika Fire Department.
Opelika Fire Chief Byron Prather is excited about a brand new $2.9 million fire station headquarters but says it'll be hard to say goodbye to more than five decades of memories made at the current Fire Station 1, built in 1961.
"There's been a lot of memories here at the first station not just for me a lot of workers had come and worked and retired here so we will miss the location next to the bridge over the railroad tracks, but we are looking forward to the new one and we are excited about that," said Chief Prather.
The new two-story Headquarter building will sit on the corner of South 7th Street and Avenue B, near City Hall.
The 13,000 square foot facility is state of the art with four large bays for emergency vehicles, a conference and office space along with large living quarters with a slide.
"Everyone has asked us about the pole, we don't use the pole anymore, because of injuries they use a slide so we have a spiral slide that comes down from the 2nd story dorm into the engine room....and I am sure the kids will love to come over and test it out for us," said Prather.
The $2.9 million facility is a budgeted expense so the city will not have to borrow money to build it.
The new headquarters should be up and running in December.
After that, the mayor says the city will be looking at building a new police station. Once a new police station is built, we will bring you the very latest.