'Service needs': Cary Fire Department Fire Station No. 9 – N.C.

Plans for Station No. 9 began in 2012 in an effort to reduce downtown response times and to relocate closer to the interstate


This station design feature spotlights a F.I.E.R.O. Fire Station Design Awards Program Recognition Award winner. Recognition Awards go to those projects for which four out of six jurors agree that the project exemplifies excellence in all aspects of planning and design, including site plan, floor plan(s), innovation and architectural image.

Project Name: Cary Fire Department Fire Station No. 9 (career department) – QUICK FACTS

  • Fire Agency Name: Cary (N.C.) Fire Department
  • Project Location: Cary, Wake County, North Carolina
  • Project Status: Completed April 2020
Photos/ADW Architects

F.I.E.R.O. 2021 Recognition Award

Submitted by ADW Architects

It is often said that to get a fire station built and operating is a marathon, not a sprint, but it is also knowing how to play chess and not checkers. This planning mindset fits the description of the Cary (N.C.) Fire Department’s Fire Station No. 9 where service needs determined station placement.

In 2012, when the community approved funding to relocate Cary fire companies from an inadequate 1974 Station 2 to a new site to help with response time issues in the downtown area, the process leading to Station 9 began.

In 2015, when Engine 2 and Rescue 2 relocated to the new Station 2 to maintain coverage of the area formally covered by Engine 2, Engine 9 was activated and temporarily housed in the former Station 2, which became Station 9.

On a parallel track, the City of Cary purchased in 2013 a former church property for a new Station 9 to be located closer to the interstate and commercial properties on the southwest side of town. Design work started in the fall of 2016. The site was cleared in August 2017. Public meetings were held in September.

Ground was broken on Oct. 23, 2018, and Station 9 went online in April 2020.

F.I.E.R.O. assessment: From the jury

The design appears to try to be a good neighbor. The clean, straight access to poles and apparatus bays for quick personnel response is appreciated, along with the company-specific dorms to prevent unnecessary waking of personnel. The ability to conduct training on aerial operations, drafting and pump testing, interior stairway high-rise ops, and confined space rescue on site are impressive, and important in keeping companies in their service area for response.

Exterior training balconies (Photos/ADW Architects)
On-site drafting pit and pump testing (Photos/ADW Architects)
Interior stairs and confined space training (Photos/ADW Architects)

Additional details

  • Architect of Record: ADW Architects
  • Contractor: Poythress Commercial Contractor, Inc.
  • Site Size: 2.53 acres
  • Station Size: 16,870 square feet
  • Cost for Land: $1.6 million
  • Budget for Building and Site Improvements: $6,094,000
  • Delivery Method: Design-Bid-Build (Low Bid)
  • Construction Cost: $5,984,300
  • Cost per Square Foot: $354.73/square foot

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