BRIER HILL Contractor bids will be solicited this month for a new fire station.
Brier Hill Fire Department Chief Shawn R. Macaulay said the department has a timetable to move into a new fire house west of the current building on Route 37 by the start of 2013.
We are hoping to be ready to put the new station out to bid by the end of May with an early summer start and hopefully be moved in by the end of the year, he said.
The fire station is at 2734 Route 37, a 6,000-square-foot former hardware store firefighters moved into in 1977.
The new, 12,000-square-foot fire station will be built at Route 37 and School Street. It is, in fact, the site of the first firehouse.
Mr. Macaulay said it is clearly time for a new, bigger building.
The building has served us well, but we have outgrown the building, he said. We currently have only two truck bay doors with six vehicles.
The new fire station will have four truck bays, each deep enough for two vehicles.
We will be able to put all our vehicles inside at once, Mr. Macaulay said.
The new fire station will feature handicapped access and a room large enough to hold 200 people that can be used as a community center. There will be a full kitchen.
Mr. Macaulay envisions a facility that can host events such as Friday nights annual department bullhead dinner without crowding and having to move the firetrucks outside.
It also will provide the department with a source of revenue.
We will be charging for use of the community center, Mr. Macaulay said. At this time, we do not have a fee on the use.
The department will also use the community center as a training room for its 45 firefighters.
The buildings estimated cost hasnt been divulged pending the bids outcome. But Mr. Macaulay said the department will pay for the project with its own money along with donations and fundraisers.