UPDATE: Demolition of Emerson Avenue fire station

Published: Apr. 10, 2018 at 5:05 PM EDT
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Update: 12/10/2019

Another long-time Parkersburg fire station is history, and plans are now being made for a new one to be built in its place.

Crews Monday began demolition of the Emerson Avenue fire station, and that work continued Tuesday.

The city of Parkersburg, in the past few months, acquired a former gas station next door, and plans are now being completed for construction of a new fire building.

"Now that the demo is almost complete with all of the removal," Fire Chief Jason Matthews said Tuesday, "the contractor has been selected and they'll be starting with foundation work and site work, probably within the next week."

The station located on 16th Street was replaced within the past year.

The city is also looking at replacement of a third station, near 13th and Plum Streets.

All three of the original stations were built back in the early 1930's.

UPDATE: 09/19/18

A groundbreaking ceremony was held Wednesday afternoon at the site of one of Parkersburg Fire Department’s stations.

Station 2, located at 16th and Covert Streets, was torn down earlier this month to make way for a new station.

Chief Jason Matthews says the station was built in 1932 and it was time to modernize it.

The new station will be 6,000 square feet and feature a community room that could be used for educational purposes and community events.

“We want this to be here for a while and when this was built 86 years ago it lasted that long and we're hoping to get 50, 60 years plus of these next ones,” Chief Matthews said.

The construction of the new station is expected to be completed by May 2019.

Chief Matthews says his department plans to pursue the reconstruction of two other fire stations in the coming years.

UPDATE: 9/10/2018 5:15 P.M.

A long-time Parkersburg fire station is demolished-and construction on a new one is just a week away.

The former #2 fire station at 16th and Covert Street came down Monday morning. It took just a matter of hours to bring it down.

And next Monday morning, groundbreaking is scheduled to take place for its replacement.

"We're excited to finally get the demo complete, and the construction to begin", said fire chief Jason Matthews. "It's been a long time working on this process, and we're glad to actually get it started, and see some dirt moving."

Chief Matthews says the new fire station at that location is scheduled to be completed and open next spring.

UPDATE: 9/4/2018 5:30 P.M.

One of Parkersburg's six fire stations Is expected to be demolished later this month.

Equipment and staff from station #2, at 16th and Covert Streets, already have been transferred to the main fire station, station #1, at the Parkersburg City Building.

The demolition is in preparation for construction of a new station #2 at the current location-one of three stations set for eventual replacement.

"We got the ball rolling on this one," says Fire Chief Jason Matthews, "and we're going to continue to work on the other two. We're looking at floor plans, working with the engineer. They'll have to do some site work, some surveying. So that's still moving forward."

Asbestos abatement is under way on the abandoned station, in preparation for the demolition project.

Plans call for work to begin on stations #3 and #4 once construction of the new station #2 is completed.

A large portion of the project is to be paid for by federal loans.


Parkersburg City Council approves the resolutions about building a new fire station on Covert Street.

The two resolutions were approved unanimously Tuesday night during a special council meeting.

The first one accepts an abandoned property on Covert Street for construction of the new station. The other is approval for to start a loan application for the project.

The City of Parkersburg says three fire stations, almost 90 years old, have leaking roofs, cracked floors, and other deteriorating infrastructure.

All are outdated in terms of modern technology, and all eventually are slated to be torn down.

"Our first order is station #2, located at 16th and Covert," explains Fire Chief Jason Matthews. "It will be demolished, and we've purchased property behind it, and we're going to build the new station on that property. Station #3, on Liberty Street, we're going to have enough property there that, once (station #2) is built, we're going to move on to that one. We're going to tear down that one and build a new station on that property. We're not losing stations, we're going to maintain the same amount of stations."

The last of the three, station #4 near Dudley and St. Marys Avenues, will be the last to be replaced.

The new stations will have a new community room for public events and firefighter meetings, and they're all expected to be single-floor buildings.

"We won't have the stairs; we won't have any trip hazards," Chief Matthews says. "Just looking at more safer and more accessible for everyone. Our stations now have the stairs: they're not accessible by everyone."

The fire station project is part of an overall infrastructure capital plan, to be funded largely through federal loans and block grant funds, as well as funds already allocated in the city's budget.

Estimated project cost: $3 million

Other projects include:

Repairs to streams and ditches that are part of the city's drainage system.

Replacement of the city's central garage on Camden Avenue.

Replacement or installation of sidewalks on Gihon Road and Rayon Drive.

Improvements to sidewalks and other fixtures at St. Marys and Dudley Avenues.

And, improvements at the City Park Pool, including the much-discussed addition of a splash park.