Station groundbreaking held

Charleston Mayor Joe Riley (left), Fire Chief Karen Brack and other dignitaries break ground at Fire Station No. 9’s site off King Street.

Charleston officials broke ground Friday morning on the city’s new Fire Station No. 9 on King Street.

The $6.5 million station, funded out of the city’s general budget, will replace the old station house, which closed about two years ago due to severe mold problems and other issues. The city tore down the old station and will rebuild on the same site, at King and Heriot streets.

Mayor Joe Riley, members of City Council, Fire Chief Karen Brack and other fire department officials attended the groundbreaking ceremony.

“What commends this site to the Fire Department and to City Council is its central location,” Riley said. “From here you can get quickly to every part of our city.”

The 19,600-square-foot facility will house firetrucks, a hazmat unit and administrative offices for Charleston’s fire chief and staff, city spokeswoman Barbara Vaughn said.

“This is the beginning of what will end up being the largest fire station in the city of Charleston when it’s all done,” Brack said during the ceremony.

The project was designed to meet wind and seismic codes to withstand possible earthquakes, Riley said.

Officials expect construction to be completed toward the end of 2013.

Reach Christina Elmore at 937-5908 or at Twitter.com/celmorePC.