The long planned new Gwinnett County Fire Station 13 is now under construction in Suwanee.
The new station, which replaces one that was closed in spring 2019 and converted into Stillfire Brewing, will be located at 105 Main St., which is on the rear driveway for the Suwanee library branch and a short distance from the old fire station.
County and Suwanee officials gathered on Tuesday afternoon to break ground on the fire station and formally kick off construction.
“Buford Highway was the home of Fire Station 13 for nearly 20 years and served as an anchor to the creation of Town Center,” Suwanee Mayor Jimmy Burnette said. “This new location will appropriately serve as an anchor to the expansion of that same park. We’re pleased to be a part of this city-county partnership and to properly welcome Station 13 back home.”
The new fire station is slated to cost $7 million to build, and county officials have previously said they hope construction will be limited to about 11 to 12 months, including move-in for the fire department.
It is being built through a partnership between the county and the city. The city provided the land while the county is handling construction. Funding for construction will be paid for with money from the 2017 special purpose local option sales tax.
The new fire station had been planned since before Suwanee announced the county’s lease for the former Fire Station 13 building was going to expire in mid-April 2019.
Once complete, the 11,000-square-foot fire station will house three drive-thru bays for fire department vehicles. It will also be able to house a minimum of five firefighters and paramedics each day, as well as a fire engine and ambulance.
The facility will also feature a gear and equipment room, an industrial grade kitchen, an administrative office area and individual bunkroom cubicles that have separate locker and shower areas for male and female fire department employees.
It is designed for future growth in the area, and as a result can house as many as 11 firefighters and paramedics at a time.
In addition to building the new fire station, the county will also make improvements to Main Street as well as the intersection at Suwanee Dam Road, near the fire station. These include the addition of turn lanes, an emergency access for the fire station on Suwanee Dam Road and a change to the road grade, beginning at the parking lot driveway for the Suwanee library branch. Preparation work for the eventual re-alignment of Main Street will also be done.
“As the newest census numbers showed, Gwinnett County’s population keeps growing with no expectation for that growth to stop any time soon,” Gwinnett County Commission Chairwoman Nicole Love Hendrickson. “I’m thankful to the voters who have repeatedly approved new SPLOST programs that allow us to open new stations and relocate older ones for better coverage and faster response times.”
The groundbreaking comes during a major year of celebration for Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services. The county fire department is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its founding this year, a fact that was noted by Gwinnett County Commissioner Kirkland Carden, whose district includes the Suwanee area.
“The new station will be a great amenity to the residents and businesses of this area as well as to the staff stationed here to protect lives and property,” said Carden. “I’m happy to be part of the department’s history and to celebrate the relocation of a fire station that’s critical for the delivery of fire and emergency medical services for the city of Suwanee and surrounding areas.”