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Summerside to build fire hall on site of former trade school

Summerside will build a new fire hall on the site of the old trade school on Ryan Street.

The city announced Tuesday the fire hall will be located between a strip mall and the local Cineplex.

The site was once occupied by a building formerly owned by Holland College. The building had been vacant for over a decade before being demolished earlier this month.

Summerside councilor Barb Ramsay said the city bought the two acres of land from developer Tim Banks and his company, APM Group, for $300,000. APM had purchased the building from Holland College in 2008.

“Just geographically, it’s perfect for firefighters getting to the fire station,” Ramsay said. “Also, the trucks leaving the fire station for any location in Summerside, that was the best choice that they came up with.”

Ramsay said the city has a tender out that closes Sept. 1, with hopes of having shovels in the ground by fall.

She said the tender will determine the actual costs of the project, but the city has budgeted about $9 million for the new fire hall.

Old fire station needed to be replaced

Station 1 at Fitzroy Street is over 60 years old. (CBC)

Summerside fire chief Ron Enman said the search for a replacement for Station 1 on Fitzroy Street had been going on for a long time.

He said the building, which is 60 years old, was run-down and in dire need of repairs.

“The building was kind of at its end of life with all the heating, electrical, plumbing, issues with the roof. Seven-some pumps in the basement,” he said. “Engineers decided it was time for a replacement.”

Summerside City Council unanimously approved the purchase of the new land for the replacement building earlier this year.

The new fire hall will be larger, and will have room for more trucks. Enman said he hopes to have a decontamination bay for trucks as well as more access to showers.

Summerside Mayor Basil Stewart said with the city continuing to grow, it’s about time the fire hall was modernized.

“We have to plan for the future and there’s no sense in replacing it with something that will be outdated or too small in two or five years,” he said. “So this hopefully, we’ll look after for 50 or more years like the other one … So we’re looking forward to having it under construction.”

Firefighters will keep using Station 1 until the new building is ready.

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