Photo courtesy of City of Statesville


The official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the William “Woody” Woodard Memorial Fire Station, held on Wednesday afternoon, marked a major milestone for the City of Statesville, the Statesville Fire Department and the Woodard family.

A large crowd turned out for the ceremony, which was held inside the spacious $14 million firehouse located at 822 Fifth Street.

The new Fire Station 1 is the largest single investment in the long history of the SFD, which department historian Capt. Matt Thompson said got its start in 1876 with the formation of Statesville’s first hook & ladder company.

The two-story, 26,000-square-foot facility features four pull-through apparatus bays. The upper level includes bunk rooms, showers, a kitchen, a training area and fitness spaces. The lower level houses administrative staff, and the site also features a three-story training tower.

“This new fire station is more than just a structure,” Fire Chief Glenn Kurfees told the crowd. “It is a beacon of safety and hope, a testament to our commitment to protecting and serving our community. It stands as a constant reminder of our responsibility and dedication to being there for our community in times of need.”

The new facility replaces the 70-year-old station on South Meeting Street. The City Council approved the site purchase and development in October 2020.

City Manager Ron Smith said the new Fire Station 1, which is located just off Garner Bagnal Boulevard, would improve response times for a large section of the city.

Along with the construction of the first phase of the nearby Municipal Operations Center on Winston Avenue,  Smith said, the project also shows the City Council’s commitment to investing in South Statesville. That project will cost $20 million.

Calling it “a great day for Statesville,” Mayor Costi Kutteh described the new Station 1 as “another big, big patch in the quilt we call Statesville.”

“Today’s opening is particularly moving as we honor Mr. Woody Woodard, a model of dedication and service within Statesville,” Kutteh said. “The new facility not only carries his name but also stands as a testament to the values he upheld.”

The City Council voted in September of 2022 to name the new Fire Station 1 in honor of Woodard, a decorated U.S. Air Force veteran, former Statesville Housing Authority manager, and long-time president of the Statesville Branch NAACP. Woodard, 77, died on May 21, 2013, as the result of a motor vehicle accident.

Members of the Woodard family pose for a photo with SFD Chief Glenn Kurfees and Mayor Costi Kutteh.

Woodard’s widow, Dorothy, attended the ceremony, along with nearly a dozen relatives and many family friends.

“This is a great honor for our family and I am just really overwhelmed with gratitude today,” she said, adding that her husband would have been honored.

“He, of course, would not want the recognition because he was such a behind-the-scenes guy, but I think he would be proud,” she added.

The City Council selected Edifice LLC to be its design-build partner for the project.

The firm’s executive vice president, Mike Carlisto, said the Edifice-ADW-McGill-Stewart-Optima team was honored to be chosen for the new SFD headquarters.

“To become a part of the history of Statesville, the Fire Department, and Mr. Woodard’s legacy of service is very exciting,” he said.

The ceremony was attended by current and former council members, a large contingent of SFD personnel and city staff, as well as community members.

Among those honored were late retired SFD Capt. J.D. Harris and retired Lt. Lewis Alexander for their tireless efforts to preserve the department’s history. A special thanks was extended to Statesville Housing Authority Executive Director Darbah Skaf and the SHA staff for their collaboration on the project.


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