The Andersonville Volunteer Fire Department celebrated a long-awaited new addition this afternoon.
The department celebrated the opening of its third fire station, located in the Belmont community. The new station is located at the site of the former Belmont School, which was destroyed by fire in the 1960's.
The fire station only cost about $22 dollars a square foot, instead of $80, for a total cost of about $110-thousand dollars. Some of the materials were donated and most of the construction was done by volunteers who once attended the former school.
"There's no way to put a cost on what they mean to us. The four men particularly that worked and worked tirelessly, day in and day out, Sunday afternoons, Saturday's late. There's no way to put a figure on it," said Chief Jeff Bagwell.
The station includes a community room and community picnic area. Firefighters will live at the station for free and be available to answer calls at night to help reduce response time.
Andersonville residents who worked on the latest fire station will share their efforts with the public Tuesday at 4:00 p.m.
According to a press release, the Belmont Fire Station will help make fighting fires in the community more efficient and serve as a public gathering place. In addition, the fire station's contruction and design provides the neighborhood with a link to the past.
The fire department expects to respond to fire calls in the area more quickly since firefighters will live at the station for no charge.
The fire station serves more purposes than housing the fire department. Community groups can meet and hold picnics there.
In addition to being more than a fire station, the facility has a legacy. It is on the site of a former school which burned down in the 1960's. Former Belmont School students who are now retired helped build the new fire hall. Volunteers also lent a hand designing the exterior of the firestation fashioning the cupola after one at the old school.
Building material contributions and volunteer labor helped to keep the cost of the project down.
The grand opening will start at 4:00 p.m. Tours will be offered. A ribbon cutting will take place at 6:00 p.m. The station is on the corner of Park Road and Sequoyah Road in Andersonville.