At 2 p.m. Nov. 9, 2021, a groundbreaking ceremony was conducted for a new fire station in Seymour.
At 2 p.m. Nov. 9, 2022, a dedication ceremony will be conducted to acknowledge the work put into making the project possible.
From 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, the public is invited to stop by the station at 1019 W. Second St. for a tour and to talk to Fire Chief Brad Lucas and his crew. A video presentation will be shown featuring pictures of the station as it was being built.
“Unless I was out of town, there has not been a day I haven’t stopped by here, and sometimes, I’ve been here two or three times a day,” Lucas said.
He captured a lot of pictures of the progress on the 4-acre site over the past year.
“I’ve seen from the groundbreaking every day what’s going on,” he said. “I’ve gotten to know the guys that are working here and all of the contractors and gotten to know them by name, so I know what they’re doing and I know what’s going on here, and I feel like that’s my job is to be a steward of what the city is paying for this. I felt it was my responsibility to do that, and I have, and I have enjoyed it. It’s a great project.”
The new station houses the headquarters on the west end and the crew quarters on the east end.
Lucas hoped to have the administrative offices functional by the end of this past week and hopes the crew can move in by the end of next week.
The new building, which cost $5.75 million, combines Station 2 — formerly at 500 W. Fifth St. — and headquarters — formerly at 318 East St. The city is looking into refurbishing the Fifth Street building, while Station 1 will remain on East Street. The city’s third fire station is at 605 Meadowbrook Drive.
About 11 years ago, Lucas wanted to do something about the Fifth Street station, built in 1967, because the department had outgrown it.
While plans were being put together, though, the financing wasn’t quite there to build a new station since there were economic repercussions from the Great Recession that had started in late 2007.
In 2016, then-Mayor Craig Luedeman started talking about building a new fire station, and Lucas began thinking it might become a reality.
Fishers-based RQAW Corp. offered ideas for design, and in 2019, Lucas received approval to move forward with a new station. BW Construction of Indianapolis was hired as the general contractor.
“We were heavily involved in the design from the beginning,” Lucas said. “About January, February of ‘21, we went and visited a station at Fishers, and then we met at the architects’ offices there in Fishers and discussed it. It was a similar design to what we wanted. We decided what we liked about it, what we didn’t like about it, started talking about what we wanted to do.”
While Fishers just had rooms on the opposite side of the crew quarters, Seymour wanted that portion of the building to be the department’s headquarters.
Walking through the front door, there will be a reception area and a display of an 1885 horse-drawn steam engine, which Lucas said at one point belonged to Blish Milling Co. and was given to the fire department. It is now is at Station 3.
Down a hallway are the chief’s office, a room that will be the assistant chief’s office once that position is added, a break room with a kitchen, an inspectors room, a conference room and a training room.
At Station 1, Lucas and administrative assistant Kim Roach have shared working space. At the new station, they will have their own spaces.
“We always got our work done, but it’s not as efficient as it could have been,” Lucas said.
Currently, inspectors find various places to work. At the new station, they will have their own room in which to work.
“Inspectors are working at the kitchen table or the picnic table out back or a laptop, and it was time to do something,” Lucas said. “Inspectors will have an office where they can do their work without being interrupted by the guys doing other things or just coming and going with stuff at the station all day.”
It has been several years since the department had an assistant chief, so once that position is filled, that person will have his or her own office.
The conference room features a table with five chairs and a television, and the training room includes room for 45 people with the tables and around 60 without them along with an 86-inch TV.
Currently at Station 1, Murphy beds have to be pulled up to create a training room.
“The training room, it’s set up beautiful,” Lucas said of the new building. “We have it set up to where you just plug the laptop in and your stuff comes up on the (TV).”
Between the administrative wing and the crew quarters, there are three bays, including two drive-thru. A fire engine and a ladder truck — SFD’s newest trucks — will be housed there along with a reserve truck — the department’s oldest.
Station 2 will have six firefighters per shift, and there are four pods, each featuring two individual rooms with a restroom in the middle. Each room includes a bed and three individual storage spaces.
Firefighters having their own rooms to go to will be nice because at Station 1, they are in one room together.
“This is a really, really good feature we have at this station,” Lucas said.
There also is a kitchen with three pantries — one for each shift — a laundry room, a large workout room with exercise equipment and machines, a gear room, a day room with recliners and a TV, a large workroom and a small quiet room with a couple of recliners and a TV.
Looking forward, Lucas said the next project will be remodeling Station 1.
“It was built in ‘67, and it just needs some freshening up, so we’ll work on that next,” he said.
Then the focus may turn to building a fourth fire station, mostly likely on the south side of the city if that area develops.
“We’re always planning for what’s going to be going on,” Lucas said.