Officers from the county’s only combined fire and rescue squad held a symbolic groundbreaking ceremony Friday evening following the start of construction on their new building, located next to the current site of the Valley Lee station.
A 30,000-square-foot fire and rescue station is under construction next to the current Second District Fire Department and Rescue Squad building as part of an estimated $13.4 million project, which has been seven years in the works, according to the fire department.
At the groundbreaking, Second District public information officer and former chief Michael Roberts thanked current and former county commissioners, as well as Joseph “Bubby” Knott, whose construction company, Great Mills Trading Post Co., is building the new fire and rescue station.
Fire department officers recalled the history of the second district department at the groundbreaking, as well as Commissioner Eric Colvin (R), whose grandfather, Jerry M. Colvin, was a member of the department’s original incarnation in the McKay’s Beach area in the 1950s. Jerry Colvin, a treasurer and lifetime member of the fire department, was also involved in the building of the current firehouse in Valley Lee, which was dedicated in 1965 following several years of construction.
Eric Colvin, along with county commissioners Todd Morgan (R) and Mike Hewitt (R), issued a proclamation at the groundbreaking, commemorating the construction of the new building.
The current building that houses the fire department has been renovated six times, and does not adhere to building codes, Roberts said previously regarding the need for a new building.
The new building is expected to last about 50 years, county financial officer Jeanette Cudmore told commissioners last month, and will feature three bays for EMS apparatus and four bays for the newer fire trucks.