BIRCH Fire Association has partnered with the City of Hastings and Mercy Ambulance to see if its feasible.to retrofit the Hastings Fire Station and add more space. Each agency gave $1,000 to pay for an architect to provide conceptual drawings for the project.
The goal is to upgrade the building thought to have been built in the 1950’s and add enough room to house all of the fire equipment used by the fire department and the ambulance service.
Hastings Township Supervisor Jim Brown and chair of the fire association thinks an emergency services complex is feasible. “The architect will give us a plan on how we can do it. We outgrew that building years ago. It has some great bones underneath it, but it does need work,” he said.
Officials from the agencies, Brown, Fire Chief Roger Caris and Rodney Palmer from Mercy Ambulance will determine how much more space will be needed and which way the expansion should go on the site.
“There are several ways of doing it,” he said. “We just need to find the best use for that location.”
Amy Meeker, a local architect who has experience with large projects including a fire station in Grand Rapids, will develop conceptual drawings with the renovations and addition and details for the group to review, Brown said.
“Then we go back and start looking at how much it will cost,” he said. In his opinion, the expansion and repairs would make the building serviceable for the next 50 years.
A study funded years ago by the city determined that the best location for the fire station is where it is at 110 East Mill Street in the city. A second study on tearing down the present building and building new never came about, likely because of costs.