After three years of planning and building, the brand new Fire Station 53 on Fox Island is officially up and running.
“This is an exciting day. This is your fire station,” Gig Harbor Fire Chief John Burgess said to the residents of Fox Island.
Thirteen-year-old Fox Island resident, Chris Trundy, was one of more than 30 people who attended the .
“It’s beautiful,” Trundy said. “The money is worth it. We need a fire station.”
According to Assistant Chief Eric Watson, the $1.46 million project was mostly funded by a $1.09 million federal grant that the fire department received 3 years ago.
On Sept. 23, 2009, U.S. Senator Patty Murray named as one of the grant recipients through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to construct, modify and upgrade fire stations.
The new building at 906 Kamus Drive is the fourth fire station on Fox Island—the original was built in 1956, said Burgess.
One firefighter said the former building was in such poor condition that when someone shut the bathroom door too hard, the showerhead fell off.
The major objective of the project was bringing the building up to code, Watson said.
The new facility now includes ADA-compliant bathrooms, private dorm rooms for firefighters, air conditioners, gym, laundry room, full alarm systems and fire sprinklers.
“If there’s ever an earthquake, this is the place to be,” said Watson.
There are currently two volunteer firefighters living at the facility, but Station 53 Lt. Bob Gandara said they hope to have a total of four residents in the future.
“Before, the residents didn’t want to be here,” said Gandara. “The new station brings individuals who want to be here.”
Station 57 in Crescent Valley also received the grant and will host a dedication ceremony later this year, officials said.