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Rescue squad purchase final, renovations next

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Building renovations will begin at the end of the month for the Ogdensburg Volunteer Rescue Squad’s new headquarters now that financing for the building’s purchase is final.

Squad Director of Operations Kenneth J. Gardner said Friday that the organization closed on its $1.6 million, 30-year loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Office. That completes the squad’s $733,000 purchase of the former Hackett Hardware store at 1223 Pickering St.

Renovations, according to Mr. Gardner, are set to begin Nov. 26 and be finished by next March 15.

The squad is currently located at 101 State St., where its lease with the Ogdensburg Housing Authority is set to expire in 2013.

The terms of the purchase call for the squad to pay $423,121.43 in back and current city taxes as well as $43,475.96 in back and current Ogdensburg City School District taxes, all due on the former Hackett building.

In a prepared statement, Mr. Gardner indicated that the squad was pleased to at last get under way with the renovations.

“This is an exciting time for the rescue squad,” he said. “This building will enable us to function much more efficiently by providing us with the space we need. We have completely run out of space at our current location. This project also allows for future growth for many years to come.”

The squad will use about 24,000 square feet of the 59,925-square-foot building, setting aside the rest for rent and, possibly, its own expansion.

The squad will pay back the loan with rent, $250,000 of its own cash and fundraisers. Latterly, the squad’s ongoing “The Hands of Time” is, according to Mr. Gardner, “going pretty well, actually.”

The squad also figures the new building will save it an estimated $3.5 million off the projected $5 million cost of building a new headquarters on its property on Route 812 south of the city.

The architect for the renovation is Aubertine and Currier, Watertown.

The general contractor for the project is Capital Construction, Watertown. The mechanical contractor is Empire Northeast, Gouverneur,

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