San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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January 6th, 2009
City begins central fire station construction

From the city of San Marcos

The city of San Marcos broke ground today on a new 19,960 square foot Central Fire Station that will be built on about four acres at 100 Carlson Circle in San Marcos.

The new facility will house fire administration, five and a half bays for fire apparatus, a training classroom, 13 bedrooms, physical fitness room, bunker gear storage, decontamination area and a maintenance room for breathing apparatus.

“I can think of no better way to begin 2009 than by breaking ground on an important new facility for San Marcos—a new Central Fire Station located at the gateway to San Marcos,” said Mayor Susan Narvaiz.

Speaking at the groundbreaking were Mayor Narvaiz, City Manager Rick Menchaca and Interim Fire Chief Len Nored.

The $5 million facility was approved by voters in a 2005 bond election after being recommended by a Blue Ribbon Bond Committee.

Located in River Ridge near Interstate 35, the station will serve the I-35 corridor and the northeast area of San Marcos.

The facility has been designed to have many environmentally friendly features, including the steel and concrete used in construction, lighting, floor finishes, appliances, plumbing fixtures—even the countertops.

Construction is estimated to be completed in 395 days or by March 2010.

Former Fire Chief Mike Baker and a committee of fire department personnel were instrumental in the design and development of the station.  Dan O’Leary and Todd Derkacz, former SMFR fire chiefs, laid the ground work for this vision though the capital improvements program (CIP) process and bond election.

San Marcos Fire Rescue is the oldest City of San Marcos department, founded in 1873 as a volunteer department organized in three companies.

A 1906 Sanborn map of San Marcos said that the San Marcos Fire Department was composed of “50 volunteers, 1 paid man, 3 horses, 1 hook and ladder wagon, 2 hose wagons, and 1600 feet of good hose.”

In 1914 the station burned down, killing the fire horses.  This forced the department to buy its first mechanized vehicle and build a Fire Station/ City Hall on Guadalupe Street.  By the 1940’s, the department had grown to over 80 volunteers under the leadership of Chief Lewis Haynes who served as chief of the department for 46 years. The department still owns “Old Betsy,” an antique 1926 American LaFrance pumper, as well as a classic 1963 Ford Galaxy chief’s car.

Career firefighters came on the scene in the 1960s and have grown to fully staff four stations.  The current Central Fire Station on Hutchison Street was built in 1968.

Today, San Marcos Fire Rescue consists of 48 career firefighters, fire chief, assistant chief, division chief, and administrative coordinator.

Construction facts

  • Building Contractor: Stokes Construction
  • Architects: Wiginton Hooker Jeffry of Plano and Austin.
  • Geotechnical: Kleinfelder
  • Engineers: Byrn & Associates
  • Engineering Consultants: Pietsch PE Consulting Services
  • Landscape Design: Patrick Kerwin and Paul Plata
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