RADFORD — City Council approved a study to look at how to expand the fire and EMS facilities at its regular meeting last week.
The current station, located on Wadsworth Street, was built in the late 1970s and early 1980s as an auxiliary station to complement the central location on Main Street, according to Mayor David Horton. He said an arsonist burned down the Main Street building shortly after that, making the Wadsworth location the only station in the city.
Since then, population growth and other factors have led to a need for more room and possibly another station located on the east end of the city. EMS moved into the building after Radford started handling those services again in 2018.
Council voted in favor of a nearly $50,000 feasibility study to be conducted by the firm Stewart-Cooper-Newell and Thompson and Litton. City Manager David Ridpath said the study will last approximately five months with a projected time of up to two years before the project is complete.
Horton said all options are on the table right now, including the possibility of a new station depending on the feedback of the study. Although he said that would likely be a last resort.
“We aren’t ruling anything out but it’s hard to say what is needed before we see the completed study,” he said Friday.
The study will also look at the possibility of adding an additional auxiliary station on the east end of the city closer to the university. Horton said that while the city is making the revival of its west end a priority, there is no denying the east has the most room for growth and houses a large population around Radford University. He said a partnership with the school on building the additional station is another possibility the city will consider.
Ridpath said the city will not rule anything out and will go with the best and most cost-efficient option. He said the entire project is estimated to take up to two years. Horton echoed Ridpath’s sentiment.
“The station on Wadsworth has lasted 40 years,” Horton said. “We want to make sure we are doing something that will last just as long and meet the growing needs of Radford for the next 40 years.”