New Lowber fire station nears completion
A new steel building is nearing completion that will serve as the Lowber fire department's new home, but fire Chief Brian Nicholls is glad it only has a concrete foundation.
“I've had enough of basements,” he said.
Cracks in the basement of the old building formed in February and a piece of concrete fell and hit a firefighter. Nicholls said the cause was never determined.
Insurance coverage was denied because it was deemed a “maintenance issue,” Nicholls said, so the members had to take out a loan to pay for the new building that measures 40- by 72-feet with three garage bays, lounge and equipment storage area.
“We just wanted enough room to be able to expand in the years to come, but didn't want to go too small or too big where we couldn't afford it either,” he said.
The new steel building was built on a vacant lot next to the old station, a part of 12 acres owned by the club that also maintains the social hall and sports fields along Lowber Road.
Without utilities, the building has cost $85,000. Nicholls said the department is boosting its fundraisers and hopes to pay off the $80,000 loan in 5 years before he anticipates needing to replace fire trucks.
Lowes home improvement store donated $1,500 for materials to build the lounge area, Lowber native Rick Halvey of Wall Electric donated his time to install wiring and Adam Kerber of Kerber Excavating donated his time to install plumbing.
“All our members are volunteering to help out any way possible,” Nicholls said.
Firefighters have even been storing the fire trucks at their homes over the last few months.
Last week, firefighters Nick Sewchok and Charlie Marsh were on-hand to help hang the door for the lounge area.
The Sewickley Township department members have all pitched in to make the best of a bad situation, said Sewchok, a trustee.
“We've gained a lot more space and now we've got a brand new building and these guys have been working their butts off,” he said.
Firefighters wanted to thank Sewickley Township supervisors, who approved $590 in EMS Tax funds for plumbing and electrical conduit at October's meeting, and Lowber residents for all their support.
The department has a spaghetti dinner scheduled from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday and a barbecue on Dec. 1, as well as wing night every Wednesday and Friday from 6 to 10 p.m., all at the social club on Lowber Road.
Nicholls said members plan on holding barbecues all winter long.
A holiday open house is planned for some time in the future so families in the community can see the new building firsthand, he said.
Before temperatures drop, the trucks will be moved to the new building as soon as they can be secured inside to avoid any frozen lines or pumps, Nicholls said.
Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6660 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.