Construction on the city’s new fire annex at the east end fire station is wrapping up and the city’s firefighters could be using it by early March.
"We can’t wait to get in it. I’m tickled to death," said Rick Zaccardelli, chief of the Havelock Fire and Rescue Department. "We’re just happy we’re finally getting a new fire department on the east end. Everybody’s excited."
Zaccardelli said a final walk-through of the building took place Tuesday. The 3,795 square-foot building is situated in the same general footprint as the one it replaced.
The old structure had mold and mildew issues from leaks during rain, proving to be an unhealthy place for firefighters to stay during their down time and overnight shifts.
Group 3 Contracting built the new structure, which has four bedrooms with three beds in each room. Three bathrooms, an IT room, two offices, a workout room, a report room, a day room and a kitchen also are part of the building. The kitchen is outfitted with separate refrigerators and food lockers for each shift.
Zaccardelli said there is a separate laundry for linens and for the firefighters’ turnout gear.
The shell of the building comes in under the city’s budget of $700,000, but the completed project costs about $950,000, which includes furniture for the new facility and repairs to the department’s three bays at the station where the city’s fire trucks will be parked.
The facility will receive a new set of bay doors and the entire building will be converted from LP gas to more efficient natural gas, Zaccardelli said.
Though the facility can house up to 12 people, Zaccardelli said that two paid firefighters will be joined by five to six volunteers on any given night in the annex.
Zaccardelli said the department has female firefighters on both the paid staff and volunteer crew, and they will be housed in one of the bedrooms in the new facility.
During the year-long construction phase of the building, the city’s firefighters and trucks for the east end of the city have been located at the old Cherry Point fire house on Jackson Drive at the entrance to the Slocum Housing area near Dairy Queen.