If construction begins this coming June, as predicted by Ryan Shipley of Hill and Wilkinson General Contractors of Austin, the Harker Heights Central Fire Station could have a new home on Indian Trail in less than a year.

“If all goes as planned, we could be moving into the completed facility in about 8½ months,” said Paul Sims, fire chief.

Chief Sims, along with Shipley and Jason Ballard of Wilson General Contractors reported to the council on the progress of the new fire station during Tuesday’s workshop session in Council Chambers.

Sims reported that 6,300 square feet would be added to the current site, bringing the new overall square footage to about 21,800. That compares to 11,000 available square feet when the station was built in 1985.

“The additional space will house the new administrative section, training room, Emergency Operation Center, and storage space,” Sims said.

In the current structure, Central Fire Station houses 21 shift personnel and six administrative staff.

Vehicles include a pumper, front-line medic unit, reserve medic unit, brush truck, regional command van, regional communications trailer, water rescue boat, multi-purpose ATV and two administrative vehicles.

Shipley explained the phases of construction, noting the addition that will take the longest amount of construction time will be the space between the main building and the current training room.

“From day one, we’ll immediately begin demolishing the weight room and get that built out as soon as possible as well as some plumbing, new bathrooms and locker rooms,” Shipley said. “The purpose of that is to keep the fire station intact as possible during construction,” Shipley said.

Sims said, “We want to maximize the amount of time that we have to be in temporary quarters. Construction on the weight room area will be a two-month process. Parking lot expansion will take about 3-4 weeks,” he said.

“At that point, we will be moving out of the main structure into temporary housing and administrative areas. We expect to be in temporary quarters for about five months.”

The last phase, according to Shipley, is the finishing of the addition and completing the renovation of the existing facility.

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