Construction on Joliet’s new fire station making progress

Photo by Lizzie Blumenthal Joliet’s new fire station under construction.

After Joliet voters approved the bond issue to build a new fire station on county land, construction began in September and phase 1 of the new building is moving at a steady pace. Joliet Fire Chief Melvin Hoferer explained the new much larger station will have an apparatus bay to store emergency vehicles, a training room, kitchen, two bathrooms, storage room and an open upstairs area, to be completed when funding ensues. “The firemen are excited. They put up the skeleton walls and now you can see it really developing and it makes a difference,” Hoferer said. Because the old fire station, built in 1976 was not large enough to hold all the equipment and vehicles, Hoferer said the trucks had to be left outside and began deteriorating due to severe weather. Despite additional add-ons, Hoferer explained, “We had run out of room.” Thus, in 2012, the county offered Joliet Fire Department a long-term lease of the storage yard if voters approved the construction of the new station. Now, the publically funded station will not only provide the necessary storage to hold 10-12 units, but also the training room can also be used as a space for the community. “This will house everything we have.” Hoferer said. Contractors from DPS Construction have been working hard to hopefully complete the new station by Feb., weather permitting. As funding becomes available, they will also begin work on Phase II and III. “It’ll be pretty cool once it’s all done,” Hoferer said.