The long-awaited Dulles South public safety center opened for business, Monday, May 7.
The almost 23,000-square-foot facility, located on Loudoun County Parkway in South Riding, will house both the Dulles South Fire and Rescue station and a Sheriff’s Office substation. The temporary facility being used by fire and rescue on Defender Drive will be demobilized.
The ground of the 4.7-acre site was broken in September 2005, following an $5.9 million construction contract, which was awarded to Milestone Construction Services of Sterling. In November 1999 voters approved the sale of general obligations bonds to fund the design, construction and equipping of the center.
The new 12,000-square-foot fire and rescue facility includes apparatus bay, bunk rooms, a training room, bath and showers, kitchen and dining areas, laundry and decontamination rooms, storage, offices and a repair shop.
In November 2006, Howard Dawley, deputy chief for planning and administration, said the facility would house both an ambulance and a fire engine. In addition, the facility will have a hazardous materials unit and support unit and is planned for a future tower truck. The station will be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
"We will finally have a facility that’s going to have a quick response time," Supervisor Stephen Snow (R-Dulles) said last year. "The longer ladder is really needed down here where we have the taller townhomes."
Fire and rescue will continue to provide car-seat inspections by appointment and will be conducted daily between 11 a.m. and noon. Public-education events will also be held by appointment.
The Sheriff’s Office substation will take up the remaining 11,000 square feet of the Dulles South facility. Kraig Troxell, the Sheriff’s Office spokesperson, said last November that the office envisioned something similar to the plans for the new substation in Cascades.
The substation will have a complementary records department so deputies could look up accident reports, do background or criminal checks and fingerprinting without having to go in Leesburg. The Sheriff’s Office would like for people who have warrants out on them to be able to turn themselves in at the substations, Troxell said.
In addition, the substation will also have holding cells for suspects awaiting transfer to the main jail in Leesburg. The building will be outfitted with an intoxilyzer, for testing suspects’ blood alcohol content.
One aspect of the new building will be different from anything in any of the current fire stations or planned substations. Approximately 840 square feet will be used for a community meeting room, to help make the center a focal point of the Dulles South community.
A grand opening ceremony is being planned, but no date or time has been announced.
— Erika Jacobson