INDIANAPOLIS — The unclasping of a water hose, symbolizing a ribbon-cutting, marked the official dedication of Wayne Township's new Fire Station 82 on Saturday morning.
Township board members and fire department personnel were present to meet with the public. The ceremony also marked the dedication of the new Wayne Township Government Center. Both facilities are side by side on Washington Street, just west of Lynhurst Drive.
Division Chief Mike Pruitt noted the beautiful day when welcoming everyone to the ceremony.
"Today's weather symbolizes the luck we've had throughout the construction process," he said.
The actual construction took about a year. The process for a new firehouse, however, took much longer than that.
Wayne Township Fire Chief Gene Konzen dates it all the way back to 1981. That's when the then fire chief decided to condense Wayne Township's nine stations to its current five. Two were combined at this location, 5401 W. Washington St., and housed in a renovated Kroger store.
"It was never really built as a firehouse, but they made it into a firehouse," Konzen said of that facility.
In 1999 the station became a combination department to include medics, which entailed yet more remodeling. By 2005 officials decided they needed a new building.
"It didn't make sense to remodel it because it already had been several times, and it no longer fit our needs," Konzen said. "Anyone who was in it knew that; there were beams cut out, you had to duck in places, all kinds of interesting things."
The fire department began setting aside part of its budget for a new station. By last year they had saved $5 million, which also was enough to renovate the other four firehouses. They looked at other locations for Station 82, but decided to stay put. Building a whole new facility, however, required using a makeshift firehouse that was in back.