Contractor, plumber hired for Hempfield Fire Department headquarters

Hempfield supervisors are moving forward with a project that will transform the former municipal authority building into the fire department’s headquarters.

Supervisors hired a general contractor and a plumber for the project, which will convert the Woodward Drive building into the first fire station for the Hempfield Fire Department and put those in leadership positions under one roof.

“The board’s committed to that first major project for the fire service, which will be our headquarters,” said George Reese, chairman of the board of supervisors.

Graham Construction was hired as the general contractor at a cost of $669,000. Supervisors also hired Newman Plumbing at a cost of $94,200.

Supervisors declined bids related to electrical and mechanical services. The lowest bids for those services came in at $239,000 for electrical and $186,600 for mechanical.

“We decided after we took a second look at a couple other categories, which was the electrical and the mechanical, that we’re going to make some changes, some additions and possibly deletions,” Reese said. “The only way we could do that was to reject those two and we’ve got to rebid it. We’re already reworking that.”

According to township manager Jason Winters, the project is being paid for with funds from the American Rescue Plan, which were distributed during the covid-19 pandemic.

The decision to move forward with the project came several months after supervisors authorized Unity-based Ulery Architecture to proceed with construction drawings and bid documents.

At the time, fire chief Tony Kovacic said the plan was to move all offices into the headquarters facility. In addition to offices, renderings show a 4,290-square-foot bay for three large pieces of apparatus, a training room, exercise room and men’s and women’s dorm rooms.

The building, which is owned by the township, formerly housed the Hempfield Township Municipal Authority.

In 2016, the sewer system was sold to the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County in a deal that paid Hempfield $5 million upfront and $1.5 million a year for 20 years.

In that deal, MAWC was permitted to use the building for five years. That lease expired in July.

Construction is expected to begin this fall, Winters said.

Megan Tomasic is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 724-850-1203, [email protected] or via Twitter .