Tour ‘3M fire station’ Nov. 15

A rendering of the new Maplewood fire station shows its four bays as it will look from McKnight Road. (submitted graphic)

A open house and ribbon cutting ceremony are scheduled for the new Maplewood Fire and Police South Station, located on the 3M campus east of McKnight Road and south of Minnehaha Avenue, at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 15.

After a brief presentation people can tour the new facility and enjoy refreshments at an open house until noon.

The new station replaces Fire Station No. 1 at 1177 Century Ave. N. Planners expect the new location will put fire and police services in a better place to respond to Maplewood’s southern leg.

The new site raised some controversy among East Side residents in the neighborhood just across McKnight who pointed out they’d get all the “benefit” of hearing sirens and vehicle rollouts but their own fire crews are dispatched from several miles away. St. Paul City Council member Kathy Lantry and Community Council director Betsy Leach complained on behalf of their residents about the noise and lights, but Maplewood officials countered that rolling emergency vehicles out onto McKnight without lights and sirens would in itself be a safety hazard.

The building’s construction only took six months following an April 14 groundbreaking. It hit a brief setback when a 24-year-old Maplewood man was found heaving spools of copper piping from the site into his pickup truck Sept. 9. He was arrested and charged with burglary and theft.

The 26,000-square-foot structure will field four fire-rig bays, offices, a police substation and a dorm for on-call firefighters.


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