New Fire House Construction Underway

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Benjamin Hughes
  • 175th Wing Public Affairs
The new 21,000-square-foot state-of-the-art 175th Wing Fire Department building is starting to take shape. The concrete floor, the steel beams, and metal roof frame are under construction at the new location with easy access to the flight line on Warfield Air National Guard Base, Baltimore, Md.

The paperwork for the new building started back in 2002 and for Senior Master Sgt. William R. Nickerson, deputy fire chief 235th Civil Engineering Flight, "It is not going to be the biggest building on base, but it will be the best."

The building is now at the center line of the runway as opposed to being at one end of the runway. "Anytime you improve our response time, you make it safer," said Sergeant Nickerson who is seeing the results after eight years of planning. "It has been a real learning experience. We are going to have a really, really nice fire station."

The $7.9 million project was awarded to main contractor Milestone Construction from Virginia and they broke ground last April. The building will allow 24/7, 365 days a year operation for the 30 funded state firefighters and 33 additional traditional guardsmen in a station that meets all National Fire Protection Association requirements.

"The base and Congress has invested a lot of money to outfit this station the right way," said Sergeant Nickerson who also cited that at the time of the bid, the struggling economy allowed the department to get everything on their wish list. "We tried to be forward thinking. We are getting a lot of support from the base to ensure that the building is equipped and furnished for well into the future."

The building will not only meet the needs of the fire department but it will also house a new 2,700-square-foot gym for the Wing.

"You can't help but get excited. We are solving a lot of little problems and bringing them under one roof," said Sergeant Nickerson.

The contract estimated 545 days of construction and Sergeant Nickerson thinks the contractor is making accelerated progress. "It looks to me like at the current rate we should be done by the spring of next."