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Forum staff reports, Published April 21 2010

National Guard building new fire station for Fargo airport

Construction will start today on a new National Guard fire, crash and rescue station that officials say will meet the needs of Fargo’s Hector International Airport for many years.

The $4.8 million facility will be built north of the existing fire station at the North Dakota Air National Guard’s 119th Wing base next to the airport.

The Air Guard’s fire department is responsible for responding to all military and civilian aircraft emergencies at the airport.

The new station will be closer to the airfield, resulting in shorter response times for aircraft emergencies, according to a news release from the Guard.

Gov. John Hoeven said the facility will meet the needs of firefighters and the anticipated future expansions of the airport.

“This state of the art facility will ensure that we will be able to meet the needs of military and civilian aviation operations for many years,” airport Executive Director Shawn Dobberstein said in the news release.

The 119th Wing’s commander, Col. Rick Gibney, said the new station also will be more energy-efficient. It has Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification, a third-party certification program for so-called “green” buildings.

The 22,400-square-foot station will replace the existing fire station, which was built in the 1950s and is the oldest building on the base.

Construction is expected to take one year. T.F. Powers Construction Co. of Fargo is the project contractor, and Zerr Berg Architects Inc. of Fargo designed the facility.