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Firehouse addition groundbreaking is Sunday

A drawing of what the Middlesex Volunteer Fire Department of Urbanna will look like after the new addition (right) is added.

by Tom Chillemi

The groundbreaking on the addition to the Middlesex Volunteer Fire Department firehouse in Urbanna, which has been in the planning process since 2002, will be on Sunday, June 12, at 3 p.m. The public is invited to be on hand as this “major expansion” begins. Refreshments will be served.

The three-bay addition will give the fire department a place to house modern equipment and has been designed to serve for coming decades, said fire chief Ray Burch. “It will be all we need for some time.”

This 4,800-square-foot addition will be handicapped accessible, have a training room, office, report room, and restroom.

The 65-by-74-foot building is estimated to cost $275,000, with $25,000 of that cost attributed to design changes required to meet building criteria in Urbanna’s historic district, said Burch.

Building fund
A building fund drive is under way so the addition can be paid off as soon as possible, which will save interest payments, said Burch.

Citizens will be able to buy a brick with an inscription in honor or memory of someone for a donation of $25, Burch explained.

Also, for a donation of $250 the donor will have a memorial or honorary plaque attached to a window in the new addition.

A $1,250 donation in memory or honor of someone will pay for one of four front entrance doors.

The 14-foot, roll-up doors will cost $6,000 each and donations are welcomed, said Burch.

Contact Keith Townsend at 804-695-4189 to make a donation.

Burch noted volunteer firefighters give so much of their time for training and emergencies, and still must give their time for fundraisers. The auxiliary also has a food booth at several events to raise money for the fire department.

Upcoming events include the Urbanna July 4th celebration, the “Music Under the Stars” concert on the third Saturday of each month, and the Buyboat Reunion on August 11-14 at the town marina.

“This fire department is a big part of the community and we hope people will be generous in supporting this project,” said Burch. “We can’t do it without their help.”

Cracks in a section of the firehouse that was added in 1972 has firemen concerned.

Construction is scheduled to begin as soon as possible. Hammond Builders of Tappahannock is the contractor.

Burch explained the addition on the left end (as one faces the firehouse), which once housed the rescue squad, is in poor condition with “structural issues.” That section was added in 1972 and bricks on the front wall are bulging outward.

It would be more cost effective to build a new addition than to repair those two bays, said Burch. “And we will have a better building.”

posted 06.08.2011

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