New fire station comes to Hessville

By: Ed Bierschenk, The Times

September 11, 2016

HAMMOND — Work is set to begin within two weeks on a new building to replace Fire Station No. 8 in the Hessville section of the city.

The city’s Redevelopment Commission recently approved awarding the contract to Gariup Construction, of Gary, for $2,899,500. The city will pay for the structure through an installment purchase agreement using money from the Gateway Allocation Area.

Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. in announcing plans for the fire station last year said it would be the first new one in the city since 1979.

A groundbreaking for the new station is scheduled to take place at 2 p.m. Sept. 19. Fire Chief Jeff Smith said it is expected to take 10 months to complete.

The new station will be at 6350 Parrish Ave., about a block or so away from the the current station that will be closed with the opening of the new building. Smith said the current station is cramped, needs a new roof and is not energy efficient. The new station will have room for the fire department to keep a spare fire engine and ambulance there in case of breakdowns. Smith said a maximum of 10 firefighters work out of the facility.

Earlier this year, the Hammond City Council approved rezoning part of Harding Park for the new station. The entire site is about 3.8 acres with the eastern third being used for the fire station and the remainder of the land remaining a park.

The new fire station will be about 12,554 square feet and house a fire engine, a ladder truck and an emergency medical services vehicle in addition to the back-up vehicles.

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