A groundbreaking ceremony will be held Friday for a new fire station in South Omaha that will replace the city’s oldest fire station.
The ceremony for Station 31 will be at 11 a.m. at 3404 Q St. Station 31, a concrete structure with an L Street-facing mural, is located at 4702 S. 25th St. It houses Engine 31, Truck 31 and Medic 31.
The $5 million cost of construction will come out of Omaha’s capital improvement budget. Fire Chief Dan Olsen has said the old station poses a problem fitting newer rigs that are taller, wider and heavier.
Plans for the new station include modern amenities such as separate sleeping quarters. Station 31 sleeps all 10 people working a shift in one big room.
Battalion Chief Scott Fitzpatrick said Thursday that the building is being appraised for potential sale. While some retired Omaha fire stations have been demolished, others have been sold and reused.
One retired station became a neighborhood social hall. Another later served as a child care center. Yet another became Upstream Brewing Co., the Old Market brewery and restaurant. Station 3 at 20th and Spring Streets was bought for $40,000 in 2002 and converted into a private residence.
The original Station 31 was a two-story brick building that opened sometime around 1907, World-Herald archives show. It was replaced in the same spot with a one-story concrete building that opened in 1947 as Station 5. Its estimated cost at the time: $50,000.
An old photograph inside the station shows it equipped with horse-drawn carts, used in the days before fire engines. The photograph also shows the original apparatus bays facing north, versus east as they do today.
Parking for the groundbreaking ceremony may be limited. Guests are asked to park at the Campos Soccer Complex, just north of 33rd and Q Streets.