Hempfield supervisors are moving ahead with a project that will turn the former municipal authority building into the headquarters of the fire service.
Supervisors have hired a general contractor and a plumber for the project, which will convert the Woodward Drive building into the Hempfield Fire Department’s first fire station and put people in leadership positions under one roof.
“The board is committed to this first major project for the fire department, which will be our headquarters,” said George Reese, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors.
Graham Construction was hired as the general contractor at a cost of $669,000. Supervisors also hired Newman Plumbing at a cost of $94,200.
Supervisors declined offers related to electrical and mechanical services. The lowest bids for these services were $239,000 for electrical and $186,600 for mechanical.
“We decided after taking a second look at a few other categories, namely electrical and mechanical, that we were going to make changes, additions and possibly deletions,” Reese said. “The only way we could do it was to reject those two and we have to ask for it again. We are already reworking this.
According to township manager Jason Winters, the project is funded by US bailout funds, which were distributed during the covid-19 pandemic.
The decision to go ahead with the project came several months after supervisors cleared Unity-based Ulery Architecture to proceed with construction drawings and tender documents.
At the time, Fire Chief Tony Kovacic said the plan was to move all offices to headquarters premises. In addition to offices, renderings show a 4,290-square-foot bay for three large devices, a workout room, an exercise room, and dorms for men and women.
The building, which is owned by the township, once housed the municipal authority of Hempfield Township.
In 2016, the sewage system was sold to the Westmoreland County Municipal Authority in a deal that paid Hempfield $5 million upfront and $1.5 million a year for 20 year.
In this agreement, MAWC was allowed to use the building for five years. This lease expired in July.
Construction is expected to begin this fall, Winters said.