(Greenwood, IN) - The White River Township Fire Department (WRTFD) broke ground on a new combination Headquarters and Fire Station 53 on Tuesday, October 2, 2018.
The new facility will be built adjacent to Pleasant Grove Elementary School and Center Grove Middle School North near the corner of Fairview Road and Morgantown Road.
“This new fire station represents a community that is truly working together,” said WRTFD Fire Chief Jeremy A. Pell. “Thanks to progressive planning by our District Board, INDOT, Center Grove Schools and our elected officials, this community will reap the benefits of their local fire department for many years to come.”
WRTFD purchased nearly 2.3 acres of land from Center Grove Community School Corporation for the project marking a new partnership between the fire department and the school system.
"What you see today is a result of a long-standing partnership between our organizations. The decision to transfer this property to the White River Township Fire Department is not only a win for the fire department, but also for our school corporation, the neighborhoods that surround them, and the taxpayers of White River Township,” stated Scott Alexander, President of the Center Grove Board of School Trustees.
The nearly $8 million combination Headquarters and Station 53 is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2019. The 23,840 square foot building will replace the Department’s current location at 850 South Mullinix Road which will be torn down as part of the I-69 project.
"We are very pleased to work with the White River Township Fire Department on this project,” stated Rich Arkanoff, EdD, Superintendent, Center Grove Community School Corporation. “We know it is a fiscally responsible decision that will increase both the fire protection and overall safety of these two schools and the neighborhoods around them."
The financial resources for the building construction were provided by the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT). Federal law allows the State to replace any publicly owned building, such as a fire station, that must be relocated due to a construction project.
A design committee made of up WRTFD firefighters, paramedic, officers and employees met with the architects to help determine the needs of the building.
“I am so pleased that our crews were involved in the design process,” explained Kevan Crawley, Chairman of the White River Township Fire Protection District Board. “They were able to address the need for separate areas to lessen the risk of cancer directly with the architects and designed a station which will be great for the community.”
In addition to including a Johnson County Sheriff Department substation, the new fire station will include a larger community room for the public as well as additional bay areas, and the ability to expand staffing quarters as the community continues to grow. It was designed by Axis Architecture + Interiors and construction management will be handled by Envoy.
Today’s ground breaking included the Center Grove Middle School North eighth grade choir singing the National Anthem and the Pleasant Grove Elementary School kindergarten class reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
WRTFD is a combination full and part-time fire department that protects an area of approximately 26 square miles in the Center Grove area/Johnson County. This area includes the State Road 135 corridor, State Road 37 (soon I-69), and includes approximately 36,000 residents.