BEATRICE – Beatrice residents are getting close to seeing the end result of a voter-approved new Beatrice Fire and Rescue Headquarters. A half-cent additional local sales tax is paying for the station, which will replace the fire headquarters in the lower level of the municipal auditorium in use since 1965.
Fire Chief Brian Daake spoke about some of the work going on now. "They're grading in front of the station where the driveway is going to be, the apron is what we call it. Garage doors are starting to go up. Roof sheathing is kind of an ongoing process. There's been a lot of hiccups with that. They're metal sheets....it sat down in Texas because they couldn't get lumber to build crates to get it up here. They got it up here, but it didn't meet specs. We're waiting on a machine from a factory to come in and basically put two crimps into each of the open spaces to prevent oil-canning and problems down the road, with the metal."
An open house has been set for the new station, October 23rd. Daake says the move to the new headquarters will be a phasing-in process.
"We would like to do a soft opening before we move in their completely, just to make sure. JEO is going to go in with Hampton (Construction) and do a punch list to make sure everything is up to date. We still want to, kind of sort-of move in there at the beginning just to make sure all of the notification devices are working and there aren't any surprises that need to be addressed before we get too carried away."
Daake says the department will have to ensure it maintains round-the-clock fire and ambulance response, while the moving process goes on. Hampton Commercial Construction has been building the new fire station, along with several subcontractors, just south of the downtown area.