Volunteer firehouse in Hubbard to be upgraded


By John w. Goodwin jr.

The work will be completed in the summer.

HUBBARD — The building on West Liberty Street that has housed the volunteer fire department here for years will soon be getting a face-lift.

City officials are planning to spend $354,500 making upgrades to the structure and outside parking lot. Jan Bolchalk, safety director, said the building is not up to established safety standards, but the upgrades will change that.

Bolchalk said the building has a list of problems, including an old electrical system, a bay door that is in need of repair and an outdated training room. Changes in the roof would be the most visible change to the building.

“Right now we have a flat roof that is leaking badly. We want to install a gabled roof so we can then put in insulation and save on energy costs,” Bolchalk said. “The exterior of the building is also in real disrepair. This is all well overdue and will bring us up to Trumbull County building codes.”

The Eagle Joint Fire District — which serves the city and the township — was formed several months ago, but the fire department still operates on a volunteer basis. There are no full-time firefighters staying in the facility on an extended basis, but Bolchalk said the city owns the building and wants it properly maintained.

An artist’s rendering of the proposed changes to the building from Strollo Architects of Youngstown shows the structure with three sections of sloped roof and the six bay doors on the front. The color will either be all white, blue with white trim or red with white trim.

Across the front of the building will be “Eagle Joint Fire District Hubbard, Ohio” underneath a large number “28.” Bolchalk said the use of the number baffled some city officials at first.

“We didn’t know until we got into this project that this is considered fire station No. 28 — they numbered all the stations in the county and that was 28. At first we wondered where the other 27 were in the city,” she said jokingly.

Council is currently considering legislation that would allow the city administration to move forward with the project. Bolchalk anticipates the project to be completed sometime near the end of summer.

“Once we get the final figures for it, then council will have to pass the appropriations for it. We will likely get started around May. Strollo predicts this to be a 100-day project,” Bolchalk said.

jgoodwin@vindy.com

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