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NEWBERRY – Upgrades to the City of Newberry’s fire station received approval at the Aug. 22 commission meeting following a presentation by Facilities Supervisor Travis Parker.

Parker said the main changes included the addition of an ambulance bay and modifications to the sleeping quarters.

Other changes include relocation of the fire chief's office, and in future, that space will be the office and sleeping quarters for the lieutenant. Currently, the open sleeping quarters area has room for four beds. Renovations will increase the bed capacity to five and allow for more privacy.

The changes are expected to increase the overall size of the facility to 2,270 sq. ft., including the ambulance bay.

In an effort to move the project along, Parker told commissioners he already advertised for bid, but said he could add any changes the commission might want to make. Hearing no changes, the plans will move ahead to a bid opening Sept. 14 and a request for acceptance of the winning bid at the commission meeting of Sept. 26.

Parker estimated it will take 180 days for construction, which means the project should be completed by late March 2017.

The City's firefighters have offered to perform some of the construction work to help save the City time and money in updating the facility, said City Manager Mike New. “Who knew we had so many contractors working as firefighters,” he said with a chuckle.

The ambulance bay is estimated to cost approximately $70,000, with the balance of the fire station renovations estimated at $215,000, said New.

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