A five-year project is nearing its end and it’s one that will give a financially struggling volunteer fire department the opportunity to update its aging facility and train new members.
Serfass Construction of North Whitehall Township is putting the finishing touches on renovations to the 12,000-square-foot building for the Nancy Run Fire Co. in Bethlehem Township, which should be complete by next month. Steve Elton, an architect from Bethlehem, worked on the design for the project; he is a volunteer for the Hanover Township Volunteer Fire Co. in Northampton County
For this project, Elton said, construction included adding bays for two additional pieces of fire apparatus.
“We’ve been on this for years,” said Tom Kocsis, a firefighter and chairman of Nancy Run’s planning committee. “We are a volunteer fire department; we had to raise the money and we went into debt much more than we did before.”
With that behind them, the fire company is looking forward to the finished project. Once complete, the estimated total construction cost should be about $2.1 million, Kocsis said.
Upgrades and renovations included a new metal roof, men’s and women’s bunk rooms, radio room, bathroom and kitchen, Kocsis said. Also, workers installed a sprinkler system for the entire building.
The fire company gets about 900 calls a year and has about 40 firefighters and 20 active members, Kocsis said.
Renovations are geared for creating a facility that would draw volunteers to live temporarily in the bunk rooms.
“The whole purpose of this is to draw more volunteers,” Kocsis said.
Space also was a priority.
“Office space was limited and cramped,” Elton said. “Operations-wise, they really needed to get the remodeling done. Basically, the goal is to get more people to enjoy the station more.”
All that’s left for the final stage is to install a façade around the building, he said. In about two weeks, new signs for the building will go up, Kocsis added.
The fire company will host a dedication on Oct. 15.
Eventually, the fire company would like to add a training room and staging area, something that should be complete in five years, Kocsis said.
The social hall, adjacent to the fire company, also was redone as part of the project. The 7,000-square-foot hall helps to generate funding.
“We depend on money from the social hall to keep running,” Kocsis said.
Fundraisers also help, and the organization hosts about three major ones each year.