Ground broken for Fire Station 1 renovation project

Two of Seymour’s fire stations were built in 1967.

With the opening of Fire Station 2 and headquarters at 1019 W. Second St. on Nov. 9, 2022, and the former Station 2 at 500 W. Fifth St. being turned over to the Seymour Parks and Recreation Department, that left only one 1967 station.

Last week, ground was broken next to Fire Station 1 at 318 East St., signaling the start of a renovation project of the other 1967 station.

On Monday, a groundbreaking ceremony was conducted outside Station 1, which was the former location of headquarters.

“It was in the plan the whole time to give this one a facelift,” Fire Chief Brad Lucas said. “They were both built in ‘67, so 56 years. We’re in them 24/7. We’re a bunch of guys, and we’re not easy on things, but we’ve done really well. It has been a great station, but it’s just time to get the old paneling off the walls and give it a little update. It’s kind of showing its age.”

Lucas said the exterior is going to be stripped down, and the building will receive a new roof, electrical and insulation. A room will be built near the firetrucks inside for turnout gear, the kitchen will be bigger, a new fitness room will be constructed, there will be new restroom and shower areas and the firefighters’ quarters will have lockers and 6-foot partitions between beds.

“It will be way better than what we have,” Lucas said. “Just basically a really good upgrade for everything.”

The cost of the project is $1.2 million, and it’s expected to be completed by April 2024, weather permitting, said Larry Lee with TD Construction Co. of Danville.

That company won the construction bid for the project.

“They came in with a really, really good bid for a basic remodel and six alternate bids, and it actually came in we could afford to do it all,” Lucas said.

RQAW Corp. of Fishers designed the building. That company also designed the new Fire Station 2 and headquarters.

“They’ve done other work in Seymour, too, so the city has always had a good partnership with RQAW,” Lucas said. “We’ve had really good results, so we’re glad to be partners with them again.”

Lucas is retiring soon after 40 years of service with the Seymour Fire Department, and he said he’s glad to see another fire station project get started.

He thanked Mayor Matt Nicholson, Clerk-Treasurer Darrin Boas and the Seymour Common Council for helping secure the money for the project.

“I was just thrilled when I found out I was kind of extending my career a little bit when I found out we were going to do some building projects,” Lucas said. “That was very exciting, and I’m glad to wrap it up with this thing.”

Once Lucas retires, Eric Roll will move from assistant chief to chief, and Anthony Walker will assume the assistant chief role.

“We’ve added assistant chief, which is outstanding,” Lucas said. “I can’t tell you how good that is. It’s going to make our training, our inspection program, just all of the day-to-day stuff divided up between two people instead of one. … Everything is going to go so much smoother. They are going to get so much more accomplished. It’s just a great move. Thank the mayor again for that, too. That was a great move.”

After Lucas spoke, Roll, Boas and Nicholson grabbed shovels to officially break ground on the Fire Station 1 project, and attendees were invited to look at an artist’s rendering of the new station, enjoy cookies and socialize.

The city’s third fire station is at 605 Meadowbrook Drive. It opened in 2003.