TAMPA — The city's busiest fire station on Monday got a new, more centrally located home.
Officials opened Fire Station 11 at 1500 W Waters Ave. because it responds to more than 10 percent of all calls for service in the city. Mayor Bob Buckhorn said it will be in a better position in its new location to serve Sulphur Springs, Lowry Park, North Tampa, Forest Hills and surrounding neighborhoods.
The old Station 11, built on E Fairbanks Street in 1956, "really was an embarrassment and had been an embarrassment for a long time," Buckhorn said. "Those living conditions for the men and women who put their lives on the line for us was just not acceptable. . . . These guys are up and down all night long."
The new station is 8,660 square feet, with a three-bay garage flanked on either side by work spaces and sleeping quarters. It has high-efficiency lighting and controls, solar-powered outside lights and water heating, energy-efficient heating and cooling, use of recycled materials, and Florida-friendly landscaping.
It cost $1.66 million, paid for through the Community Investment Tax and built by Pillar Construction. It started taking calls immediately after the ribbon-cutting.