New Berkshire firehouse under construction

JOHNSTOWN – Construction on the new Berkshire Volunteer Fire Department station has begun on Steele Avenue Extension, and department officials said they are still on schedule for a move-in date in late March.

The former Fireside restaurant was demolished late last year, and the construction workers have wasted no time beginning the new structure.

“It’s moving along fine,” said Bruce Heberer, chairman of the Board of Fire Commissioners. “We’re pouring cement for the foundations and footings.”

Heberer said the structure will go up after they get the steel, and they are expecting that to be delivered Jan. 23.

Both Heberer and District Board Secretary Karl Hansen said they don’t see anything preventing them using the building by the end of March, unless the weather gives them problems, which hasn’t happened yet.

But once the steel arrives and the outside work is done, not even the weather will be able to slow them down.

“I think once the building is up and closed in, the interior work can be done,” Heberer said. “Everything’s on schedule. I don’t see any delays.”

Financially, the project has been staying on schedule as well.

Heberer said the district had a $1.5 million budget, and the bids for general contracting, site work, electrical work and heating, ventilation, air conditioning and plumbing came in at just more than $1.3 million.

Hansen said he doesn’t anticipate any changes in the cost of the project, but he can’t be certain right now.

“It’s still pretty early in the construction phase right now, but we’ve had no changes in the project yet,” he said.

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