A new city animal shelter and fire station will open in Pearland in April

Two facility openings in April in Pearland will mean further digging for the city’s firefighters and homeless animal population.

In the fall of 2020, the city council hired Durotech General Contractors to build a replacement fire station #4 and a new animal shelter, dubbed the Shari D. Coleman Animal Shelter & Adoption Center. The contractor took on both projects to reduce costs.

Funded through a 2019 bond referendum, the $9.94 million pet store and nearly $8.32 million fire station are under construction next to each other on Freedom Drive, at the south end of the Pearland Public Safety Complex on Cullen Boulevard. The Pearland Police Department and a water treatment plant are also nearby.

When complete, the 14,000-square-foot fire station will open with a traditional “wetting” ceremony, said Fire Chief Vance Riley. The ritual dates back to the late 19th century when American firefighters rushed to emergencies with horses pulling fire trucks and equipment. Once the fire was out, crews washed and rinsed the animals so they were ready for the next call to action.

These days, with no horses to wash, firefighters across the country replicate the ceremony by hosing down new equipment or buildings.

Just as modern firefighting technology has overtaken the use of horses, so too have Pearland’s fire stations. According to the city, the state-of-the-art fire hall will feature four 80-foot-deep bays for fire trucks and other equipment. In addition, the station will comfortably accommodate a crew of eight, including four firefighters, two paramedics, a shift supervisor and a captain. Staff members will have 24-hour access to 10 sleeping quarters, bathrooms equipped with showers, offices, a decontamination area, storage space, a kitchen/dining room, a lounge area and a monitoring office .

The upgrades are needed following an assessment of the current Building No. 4, which the city has determined is ill-equipped to meet the needs of Pearland, which has grown by leaps and bounds over the past 20 years and since the current building was built in 2002.

Originally intended to accommodate volunteers only, the building, which is adjacent to the new structure, has been modernized over the years. However, the changes were not enough, and once the new fire station is completed, the current space will serve as a training facility for the police department. It will be reconfigured to include a training room for 30 people, offices and a weights room.

Vance said design considerations were also made to accommodate the health of firefighters and paramedics.

“This new facility brings us cutting-edge cancer prevention efforts to reduce exposures to carcinogens, as well as significantly reduced exposure to viruses and bacteria that can easily arise during emergency incidents, said he declared.

The upcoming animal shelter will be 21,000 square feet and will accommodate 106 dogs and nearly 100 cats. It will also accommodate 16 employees.

The design, in addition to expanding the current 10,000 square foot space on Old Alvin Road, aims to make animals comfortable, efficiently facilitate the work of staff members and accommodate those interested in adopting pets. in indoor and outdoor spaces where they can bond with animals.

In addition to isolation and quarantine kennels, the shelter will have spaces to neuter and/or neuter animals and rooms for grooming and food preparation.

The Old Alvin Road location, though remodeled and expanded over the years since it came online in 1997, has often been at capacity and does not meet state codes and modern shelter standards.

John Fisher, the town’s animal services manager, said not only will the new shelter be up to code and able to meet future animal housing needs, but it will also be more centrally located to better greet the entire city and help animal control officers better respond to calls for service.