Hampton Beach Fire makes new home official
HAMPTON BEACH — Exactly one year to the day after breaking ground on a new Hampton Beach fire station, local officials and firefighters gathered Thursday to officially mark the opening of the $3.1 million seaside firehouse.
The new four-bay station at 119 Brown Ave. replaced an old beach fire station that stood for nearly a century and was demolished last month.
Firefighters moved into the 11,122-square-foot station at the end of October, but wanted to wait until Thursday to hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony because it marked one year since construction began on the project managed by Bedford-based Eckman Construction.
While it was called a ribbon-cutting, there was no ribbon at the station.
“We’re not using ribbon. It was more appropriate, as a fire station, we’re using light fire hose. Instead of scissors we have the Jaws of Life,” Fire Chief Chris Silver announced, sparking laughter from the small crowd that gathered inside the station.
The hose was strung up across one of the bays for a photo shoot, but it wasn’t actually cut because that likely would have fired up the crowd and the firefighters who need the hose.
The new station was approved by voters in 2012 as part of a plan that also included a $2.6 million renovation and expansion of the fire station on Winnacunnet Road. That project, which is also finished, added another 9,000 square feet to the building, bringing the total to around 20,000 square feet, Silver said.
The Winnacunnet Road project included new administrative offices and increasing the number of apparatus bays from four to six.
The project was many years in the making, and Silver said he was glad to see it finally come to fruition.
“I think truly, because of the collaboration between the (Hampton Beach Village Precinct District) and between the town we were able to make this successful this time,” he said.
Other officials on hand for the ceremony were also pleased to see the station opening its doors.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Selectman Dick Nichols, board chairman.
Hampton resident Meg Snell brought her three daughters, Luna, 5, Mazie, 7, and Ruby, 9, to see the new station. The girls were excited to check out the fire trucks and other gear inside the station, which was designed by Cowan Goudreau Architects of Concord.
“I think it looks great,” said Snell, who has toured the Winnacunnet Road station before but had never been to the old beach fire station.