(Montgomery, Texas – July 9, 2012) Area officials, firemen and residents were on hand Friday to help break ground on a new Lake Conroe Fire Department station in Woodforest, a master-planned community spearheaded by The Johnson Development Corp.
Actual construction of the station, the fourth for the fire department, should begin in about a week and is expected to take about seven months to complete. The facility will have two garage bays, a kitchen, a workout facility and space to sleep up to eight firemen.
“With the growth occurring in Woodforest and continued growth expected, we needed a fire department in the area,” said Lake Conroe Fire Department Chief Leonard Mikeska.
“This station will easily handle any emergency calls and motor accidents in Woodforest,” he said. “In the event of a structure fire, all stations are called, but having a station in Woodforest will drastically reduce our on-scene arrival time in the community, hopefully saving homes and lives. Fires tend to start out small and that’s when we want to get there.”
The fire station will have a brick exterior to adhere to building standards in the community. It is being built at 2675 Woodforest Parkway North, a two-acre parcel deeded to the fire department for $10 by The Johnson Development Corp.
Construction of the station, contracted to LDF Construction, will cost approximately $1.5 million.
“This is just a further step in the development of Woodforest,” said Virgil Yoakum, general manager of the community. “Having a fire station so close will be of great benefit to Woodforest residents and the immediate area, especially in emergency situations when even a few minutes can make a tremendous difference.”
The Lake Conroe Fire Department was organized in 1965 as a volunteer fire department for the Lake Conroe Forest residential development. The first paid staff were hired in 1991 with the first full-time employees hired in 1997. Currently, the fire department has 43 employees, 36 of whom are full-time. The department has four Class A engines, one reserve Class A engine, a ladder truck, a water tender truck, two booster trucks and one staff vehicle. All engines carry foam, thermal imaging cameras and EMS equipment. The other stations are located on Highway 105, FM 2854 and Honea Egypt Road.
“Our department has grown to match the growth of the surrounding community,” said Mikeska, who has been fire chief for 20 years. “We’ve come a long way from the tin barn that was our first fire station.”
The Lake Conroe Fire Department has a rating of two from the Insurance Service Offices (ISO), which ranks it among the top fire departments in the nation. The rating, which can range from one (best) to 10 (worst), is a factor in calculating the cost of homeowners insurance. The ISO reports that less than 1 percent of fire departments nationwide hold a rating of two.
Local dignitaries, Lake Conroe Fire Department firemen, contractors, staff with Woodforest development and the public gathered Friday to officially break ground on a fourth station for the department, to be located on a two-acre site in the master planned community of Woodforest. Participating in the ceremony were, left to right, Janice Murphy, commissioner of Montgomery County Emergency Services District (ESD) No. 3; Dick Austin, ESD No. 3 board member; Lake Conroe Fire Chief Leonard Mikeska; Ken Conatser, general manager of Montgomery County Utility District No. 3; Virgil Yoakum, general manager of Woodforest; Ray Holiday, architect with BRW Architects; and Lynn Foster with LDF Construction.
Woodforest, a project of The Johnson Development Corp., is a 3,000-acre master-planned community surrounding Woodforest Golf Club, one of the top-ranked daily-fee golf courses in the Houston area. Planned is a broad array of housing choices and prices — single-family, patio, townhomes, condominiums and multi-family — targeted to lifestyle-oriented buyers. Woodforest is slated for more than 5,500 homes and a full complement of retail and commercial properties. Located north of downtown Houston, Woodforest is five miles north of The Woodlands and six miles south of Conroe. Convenient access just seven miles west of Interstate 45 is provided by Fish Creek Thoroughfare, the first new major north/south thoroughfare connecting Conroe in Montgomery County and Tomball in Harris County. For more information, visit www.WoodforestTX.com or call 936.447.2800.
About The Johnson Development Corp.
The Johnson Development Corp. is an award-winning residential and commercial land development company involved in premier projects including master-planned communities such as Sienna Plantation, Fall Creek, Riverstone, Woodforest, Tuscan Lakes, Edgewater, Imperial Sugar, Cross Creek Ranch, Discovery at Spring Trails, Willow Creek Farms and Silverlake in Houston, Texas, and Towne Lake, BridgeMill and Lake Arrowhead in Atlanta, Georgia. Established in 1975, known for innovative master planning and today one of the largest and most successful land developers in both Houston and Atlanta, The Johnson Development Corp. has cultivated a strong reputation for vibrant, responsible development, with impeccably designed communities. For more information, visit www.johnsondevelopment.com.