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Hedgesville Fire Co. to move to new location in a few weeks

December 02, 2009|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. -- Hedgesville Volunteer Fire Co. Chief Mike Nichols said this week he hopes the department can move into its new station on Hedgesville Road by the end of the year.

The $3.2 million project was scheduled to be completed by Monday, but 17 days of weather-related delays held up the completion, Nichols said.

"We're hoping to be in there in the next few weeks," Nichols said.

An open house and dedication will not be held until the department is completely settled in the new pre-engineered metal building at 4217 Hedgesville Road, Nichols said.

Among the most significant work left to be done is the application of a non-skid sealant on the floor that will protect it from the wear and tear of emergency vehicles, Nichols said.

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The 21,600-square-foot station will allow the company to move one or two pieces of equipment from its substation along Mountain Lake Road and was designed to house an aerial apparatus truck that the company hasn't yet purchased, Nichols said.

The building project was awarded to Morgan-Keller Inc. of Frederick, Md., in February 2009 and cost $2,385,000. The site work was completed by Corbin Construction and Excavating Inc. for $587,244, and engineering and architectural fees were $270,000, according to the Berkeley County Fire Board.

"It's built very well," Nichols said. "If I wasn't at work, I was down there."

The fire board took out a loan to pay for the new station, and the fire company contributed $100,000 toward the cost of adding a second floor to the building for additional space. The operations of the county's five volunteer fire departments are supported by annual fire fees collected from commercial and residential property owners by the fire board.

"We've been champing at the bit for a while," Nichols said.

Preliminary plans for the project on an 8.2-acre parcel east of Hedgesville near Butlers Chapel Road were approved by the Berkeley County Planning Commission in 2006, according to county planning records.

A groundbreaking for the project was held in August 2007. The fire company's old station, built in 1956, will be sold, Nichols said.

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