The City of Goose Creek is moving ahead with early planning for a new headquarters fire station on a large city-owned lot adjacent to the public works building.
The property is not far from the existing headquarters on Brandywine Boulevard and should provide more than enough room for the new fire station, plus additional space for firefighter training.
City Administrator Dennis Harmon said the station will likely be about 20,000- to 25,000-square-feet, and would preferably be constructed to anticipate growth and the needs Goose Creek will have in a few years — as opposed to costly expansion.
"We would build now for future growth needs," Harmon said. "It'll never be any cheaper to build than it is now."
Councilmember Marguerite Brown said she had wanted the land for open space, but that the need is greater for a new fire headquarters. "It makes a lot of sense to me to use land that is already paid for," she said.
Harmon noted that there is a lot of space on the property and it could be designed to serve as a park and fire headquarters, similar to the municipal center's walking trails and open space.
The city expects to contract with Thomas & Denzinger Architects, the same firm that helped design other municipal projects, including the Crowfield fire station.
The search continues for an appropriate site for a fire station along St. James Avenue near Old Mount Holly Road. Harmon said the city has identified five potential sites and the administration will continue talks with land owners to determine the best opportunity.
The new substation will help cover areas currently serviced by the Brandywine headquarters, and it will be in a better position to service growth areas toward Carnes Crossroads.
Financing for both projects, including a $4 million estimate for the headquarters station, will come from tax increment financing — money that has been set aside from existing tax revenues in the downtown area to pay for redevelopment.