Work underway for Hamilton’s new $6.2 million fire station

Lindenwald site prep starts, and building will follow soon.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Site work for the new Lindenwald fire station is underway, and signs of construction should begin soon.

Plans to relocate Station 26 began in earnest in 2022 when Hamilton started its planning and design phase in the process to replace the antiquated Laurel Avenue station with a state-of-the-art facility.

Last February, the city secured a 2.5-acre piece of land for the new station on Ohio 4, though they had to combine two parcels, through the Community Improvement Corporation. Hamilton Fire Chief Thomas Eickelberger said, when asked why this process took so long to get started, there were “many layers to that onion.”

Bottom line, the city of Hamilton received just one response when officials first advertised a request for proposals (RFP). When they did not come to an agreement, Hamilton put the bid back out and received multiple options.

Hamilton went with CUC as the general contractor to construct the $6.2 million fire station.

Now until later in April, the contractor will be getting the site ready for foundation work, Eickelberger said. The plan, he said, is to begin foundation work and construction by the end of April and the new station to be wrapped up by the end of this year or the beginning of 2025.

“They’ve got a pretty good plan put together,” the chief said. “They have high hopes and expectations of being able to get this completed very swiftly.”

Eventually, Eickelberger said, they would like to build a training facility behind the station.

The current Station 26 is at 651 Laurel Ave., and the cost of maintaining the building constructed in 1910 is not worth it anymore.

The Lindenwald fire station was built during a time when fire vehicles were not as big or as heavy. Eickelberger said within the past several years, they completed a project in the station’s basement to shore up the structure under the bays because there were signs of failing.

The new Station 26 will provide the department with a larger space for any future operational growth deemed necessary. But when it opens, there will be more bay space for apparatus and medic units, there will be better amenities, including a training conference room, a bigger gym area, and individual sleeping quarters.

Eickelberger said before the plans were put together, they had a small cross-section of the Hamilton Fire Department and traveled to fire stations in the region, talking with administrators and firefighters. They discussed what had worked and what hadn’t worked.

“The plans for this building were based on those visits and conversations,” the chief said.

Lindenwald is the city’s most populous neighborhood. The new location is on the eastern edge of the Lindenwald neighborhood, across the railroad tracks from the historic section of the community. When the fire station location was first presented to the community, the major concern was it being east of the railroad tracks.

But Eickelberger told the Journal-News this week, reassuring those initial concerns, that “the city of Hamilton and the Hamilton Fire Department will continue to provide top-notch services to the neighborhood of Lindenwald, as we always have.”

What will happen with Station 26 is unknown at this time. A decade ago, the city decommissioned Station 27 on Schuler Avenue and sold it through an RFP process to a private organization. The chief said the fire department has no plans for the historic building once they move out.

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