Boardman opens its new $3.6 million fire station
By JORDYN GRZELEWSKI
Ninety-one years ago, the township opened its first fire station on what is now a busy state route.
Now, pieces of that fire station are memorialized in the fire department’s new home on Market Street. The township officially opened the new Station 71 (the seven an identifier assigned by the county, and the one signifying it is the township’s main station) Tuesday with a ribbon-cutting and open house event.
Although construction on the $3.6 million facility at Market Street and Stadium Drive began last spring, township officials said the project has been a decade in the making. Officials have long wanted to move the fire department out of the old building on U.S. Route 224. The chance to do so came about in part due to a deal made between the township and school district in which the two swapped properties, giving the township a property next to Center Intermediate School and saving money on the project.
Township Trustee Brad Calhoun said the new station addresses a number of issues, including the department’s response times to the southern end of the township.
Fire Chief Mark Pitzer thanked everyone who helped make the project possible, including township officials, his staff, the school district, those involved in the design and construction, and township residents.
“I’m blown away by the outpouring of support from our community during the construction of this much-needed facility,” he said. “We are blessed to have your support.”
Pitzer also highlighted some of the building’s features, such as a training room, training tower, conference room, individual bunk rooms, and a storage room.
He noted plans to install a safety-services memorial in front of the station, as well, once the department raises the approximately $60,000 needed to reach a $100,000 goal.
Also in attendance Tuesday were two retired township fire chiefs, Jim Dorman and George Brown.
Dorman, who is working on a book for the 100-year anniversary of the fire department in 2023, shared some of the department’s history.
Dorman read from the 1926 township trustee minutes that set in motion plans for the first fire station, which was built in 1927.
He also noted that features of the old building, including an original stone inscribed with “BFD,” were incorporated into the new building.
The new station preserves the department’s past, while also moving it into the future, he said.