A metal skeleton of a building is slowly coming together on the corner of Morgan and Washington streets — the future home of the Wadesboro Fire Department.
A crew from MCT General Contractors, out of Monroe, was working on the station in Monday’s sweltering heat. One worker was trying to get rid of water that had ponded on the foundation from rains the day before.
Wadesoboro Town Manager Alex Sewell said work began on the structure in March but progress has been delayed a few times because of weather.
Scott Martin, Wadesboro fire marshal, pulled out the plans for the 10,576 square foot building to show the improvements from the current station. Sewell said there would be “a lot more functional space.”
The new station will feature four “double-deep” bays to provide parking for eight vehicles. The bay doors will be about 18 feet high and 14 feet wide — large enough to fit the department’s “new” used truck it bought not long ago, which will not fit in the aging station — and facing Morgan Street, making leaving for emergency calls safer than pulling out onto Washington Street.
“It’ll be a whole lot easier than what we do now,” Martin said, explaining that trucks at the new station will be out of the building and onto a concrete pad before pulling out onto the road. “That way, we won’t be pulling out blind.”
Aside from the bays, there will be: a tool room where firefighters can work on equipment; a workout room with various exercise equipment to keep the firefighters in shape; a full kitchen and dining room; and four offices.
There will also be a meeting room — which is planned to hold more than 100 people — where they can hold educational workshops for the community, including day care workers and industrial fire extinguisher training. Currently, Martin said, they have to go off-site to meet with the various groups, loading up equipment and materials to carry over to the location.
Once completed, the building will be bricked in with a covered front porch.
A new building was discussed for quite sometime before the Wadesboro Town Council bit the bullet to construct the new station at a cost of $1,246,290.
The current building, up until recently, housed both the fire and police departments and has asbestos, is prone to leaks, and because of the cramped quarters, is a security risk.
When all the vehicles are parked, Wadesboro Fire Chief Marc Sessions said last year, they block the dispatcher’s view of the door, creating a safety issue should someone come in with a gun. Two of the vehicles are hooked to an exhaust system, but the bay still contains exhaust fumes that firefighters and visitors are exposed to.
The right section, which houses offices and storage for the department upstairs, was built in 1910, while the left side housing the vehicle bay was constructed in 1923, Sewell told the Record last year. The bay side was last renovated in 1963, according to a plaque on the building’s wall.
The Wadesboro Police Department moved to its current location — a former doctor’s office on Rutherford Street — late last year.
Although there is no completion date set for the new fire station, Sewell said, “I’m hoping December.”
Reach William R. Toler at 910-817-2675.