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$1.3 million fire station to open this summer

June 18, 1998|By RICHARD F. BELISLE, Waynesboro

by MIKE CRUPI / staff photographer

enlargement

New $1.3 Million Firehouse

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Rescue Hose Co. No. 1 expects to move into its new 23,000-square-foot, eight-bay fire house later this summer.

The dedication, to be held Aug. 8 during Greencastle's Old Home Week celebration, ends 10 years of planning for the members of Greencastle's volunteer fire department.

The new station being built at 842 S. Washington St., will be worth more than $1.3 million when complete. The money will come from fund-raisers, loans and the sale of the current fire station at 48 S. Carlisle St.

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The cost does not include $255,000 the department paid for the former South Antrim Elementary School, most of which is being integrated into the new station, said Donald Eshleman, president of the fire company.

The school opened in 1955 and closed 40 years later when the Greencastle-Antrim School District consolidated its schools onto a main campus.

"A lot of people in town have sentimental attachments to this school. They either taught here or went to school here and they really didn't want to see it torn down," said William Little, assistant EMS chief with the department. "This has been a tasteful renovation," he said.

The sale of the school to the fire department included eight acres, five of which the department hopes to lease to local athletic leagues, Eshleman said.

Ground was broken for the new station in October. Construction will be finished by July 4. Firefighters will begin moving equipment into the new station after that and officially take it over the day of the dedication, at which time it will become fully functional, said Fire Chief Robert Ebersole.

The business end of the new station is its eight-bay garage capable of holding more than a dozen pieces of fire-fighting and ambulance equipment, Little said. The cavernous main station also has a radio room, six storage rooms for equipment, an equipment clean-up room and an engineers' room.

Space in the old school has been converted into separate sleeping quarters for 15 male and seven female firefighters, large meeting and classroom spaces, offices for department officers, a disaster control center, file rooms, custodial storage rooms, a library and chaplain's study, administration offices and operations headquarters for the fire department and emergency services squads. The facility also has a recreation room with Ping-Pong and pool tables, and a weight room.

A large room in the rear will house the department's museum with its 1939 Seagraves fire engine as the focal point. The department's pride and joy, a 1741 hand pumper, will be on display in the main vestibule. A pressed concrete relief sculpture of the old pumper was set into the wall on the front of the building as a gift from the general contractor.

Ebersole said the location of the new station south of town will boost the department's firefighting capabilities.

"Most of the growth is in the south end from here to the Maryland line," he said.

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