CR Fire Department marks flood anniversary with ground breaking - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Rapids Fire Department marks flood anniversary with ground breaking

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

June 13, 2008, 10:15 a.m. - That's the moment the Cedar River crested at a record 31.12 feet, changing Cedar Rapids and the lives of many residents forever.

June 13, 2012, 10:15 a.m. - The Cedar Rapids Fire Department breaks ground on a new central fire station to replace the one that sat near the banks of the Cedar River and was destroyed by flood water.

After four years without a central fire station, city officials and members of the Cedar Rapids Fire Department broke ground on what will be the new home for the fire department at 713 1st Avenue SE, the former site of the Emerald Knights building.

Construction on the 67,140 square foot building is set to begin next month and is scheduled to be completed in August 2013 with the opening scheduled for August 15, 2013.

The building will house an Engine Company, Truck Company, Rescue Company and Battalion Chiefs that will respond to emergency incidents in the downtown area.  The administrative offices, including the Fire Marshal's Office, will also be located there, along with a City Emergency Operations Center.

 "Another step in a positive direction,"Cedar Rapids Fire Chief Mark English said. "It's becoming real, and I truly think it will become even more real and concrete, no pun intended, when we start seeing the steel coming out of the ground."

The fire department isn't the only department making progress.  The new city hall at the former federal court house has opened for business, the Cedar Rapids Community School District is holding an open house on Wednesday for their new Educational Leadership and Support Center at Edgewood and Ellis Roads and Linn County offices are in the process of moving back into the Jean Oxley Public Service Center.

In addition, the main library is being built on the former TrueNorth site, the reconstruction of the Paramount Theatre is nearing completion and Linn County court offices that had been in Westdale Mall, are back on Mays Island.

KWWL's Jason Epner will have more on Cedar Rapids flood recovery tonight on the KWWL News at 5 and 6.

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