USC students, Los Angeles residents, city officials, USC administration and the Los Angeles Fire Department gathered Saturday morning to celebrate the grand opening of Fire Station No. 15. The ceremony, held at the new fire station, highlighted the partnership between LAFD and USC, which funded the construction of the new facility.
“I’d like to thank USC, not only for paving the way for this beautiful new station, but for your hard work each week in putting this together,” LAFD Assistant Chief Ronnie Villanueva said. “We met every other week for months on this program, and without everyone’s help, this could not have happened.”
The reception featured speeches by President C. L. Max Nikias, District 9 Councilmember Curren D. Price Jr., Chief Deputy City Engineer Deborah Weintraub and LAFD Fire Chief Ralph M. Terrazas, as well as a commemorative presentation by LAFD Battalion Chief Curt Klafta and a performance by the USC marching band. The event culminated in a ribbon cutting ceremony, after which guests were able to take a tour of the fire station.
Nikias emphasized the importance of the work done by LAFD firefighters.
“The strength of any city rises from the passions, hopes and dreams of the people who call it home,” Nikias said. “Those passions, hopes and dreams can only thrive with the peace of mind, with the feeling of safety and security and with the protection of life and property.”
Fire Station No. 15, now located at the intersection of Hoover Street and 30th Street, was originally located on Jefferson Boulevard. Terrazas discussed the reason for the move and spoke about the new fire station’s potential.
“By trading the property, and them building us this fire station, it allowed the Village to expand into one contiguous piece of property,” Terrazas said. “I think it was a great arrangement for both sides. The fire department gets a brand-new fire station, and we needed a bigger station to house all the resources — all the ambulances and fire trucks — that we could not fit in the old station.”
In addition to increased space, Terrazas also cited modern sustainability upgrades, efficiency and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act as ways that the new fire station has improved upon the old one.
Though most of the old fire station will be demolished to make room for a pedestrian walkway, the front of the old building has been moved and will now be repurposed as a production studio for the School of Cinematic Arts.
“The men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department faithfully served the USC campus and the community for over 65 years,” Terrazas said. “I’m very happy to hear that at least part of old Fire Station 15 has been moved to a new location and will continue to serve in the community as part of the USC Robert Zemeckis Center for Digital Arts.”