Fire department getting new firehouse

NEW PALESTINE, Ind. (WISH) — It is out with the old and in with the new for the Sugar Creek Township Fire Department. That is because they are getting a new firehouse.

“We’ve been living in cramped quarters at the other firehouse for so long so that I don’t know that people will even know what to do when you have more space. We’re preparing for the future, not necessarily right now,” said Tony Bratcher with the Sugar Creek Township Fire Department.

Construction started a few weeks ago. The foundation is laid and walls are being built.

“We wanted a building that welcomed the neighborhood. We built this on this piece of land with the neighborhood behind us with the community in mind. We wanted a nice building they could be proud of on their way home from work or to work,” Bratcher added.

The new firehouse will have multiple upgrades that include a geothermal heating and cooling system, LED lighting, and eight private bedrooms.

“We took the opportunity to build a bigger firehouse at what seems like an expensive price tag at 3.5 [million] but we’re talking a 50-year building. We’re preparing for growth in the township. We’re also preparing for the unknown. Maybe different diversities, different cultures, more women in the fire service.”

The department hopes to lower operating costs with the new building.

“We have saved enough over this trustee and this fire chief’s tenure that we’ve been able to save enough to pay cash for this. There will be no loan. All we’ll have is the operating costs. We’ve bought the land, the construction costs, everything will be paid for,” he said.

The building is expected to be completed in March or April of 2018. Once completed, the department plans to host a block party for locals.