Frederick station site to move, but not very far

Posted: October 31, 2013

The Winchester Star

WINCHESTER — A planned Frederick County fire station likely won’t be built at the location originally decided on by local officials.

However, the situation could benefit Round Hill Community Volunteer Fire and Rescue, the county and Silver Lake Development, which owns the land the new facility will go on.

Director Harvey “Ed” Strawsnyder said during a Public Works Committee meeting Tuesday morning that road improvement requirements from the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) have made the original site more costly to develop.

A new station for Round Hill was initially planned to be built near the intersection of Northwestern Pike (U.S. 50) and Trader Drive — which would have had to be built as part of the project — west of Winchester Medical Center and near The Village at Orchard Ridge retirement community.

The cost of the new facility, which will replace a station that is more than 50 years old, is estimated at $4.5 million.

Strawsnyder said that building the station at the originally planned location would require raising the westbound lanes of Northwestern Pike by 2 feet to create a crossover to the eastbound lanes that would be acceptable to VDOT.

County officials recently spoke with members of Silver Lake Development — who would have had to spend money to create the intersection of Trader Drive and Northwestern Pike in addition to building part of the road — and both parties looked at moving the planned station to a four-acre site just west of the original location.

The newly proposed site is on an existing road — Corporate Place — off of National Lutheran Boulevard, which intersects Northwestern Pike and includes a crossover between the eastbound and westbound lanes, Strawsnyder said.

“It’s kind of a win-win,” he said.

Strawsnyder added that the county has moved ahead with proffer revisions to put the Round Hill station on the new site. Since the revisions are minor, they will not require a public hearing before the county’s Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors vote on the matter, according to county officials.

The committee unanimously approved endorsing the second location as a favorable spot during the meeting.

The timeframe for construction was not discussed, however, and Strawsnyder could not be reached to comment on it Tuesday afternoon.

Committee Chairman Gene Fisher said Tuesday that the project’s timeline shouldn’t be greatly affected by the proposed location change.

Attending the meeting in the Frederick County Administration Building were Chairman Gene E. Fisher and members Gary A. Lofton, Robert W. Wells, Whit L. Wagner and David Ganse. Member Jim Wilson arrived late.

— Contact Matt Armstrong at marmstrong@winchesterstar.com