Historic Ishpeming fire hall gets new life

ISHPEMING – The Ishpeming Fire Department moved back into the city fire hall on Lake Street last week following the completion of enhancing the structural integrity of the building.

The volunteer fire crew had been headquartered in the former city recycling center on Carson Road, off Lakeshore Drive, since July, while the more than 100-year-old fire hall floor was structurally reinforced to be able to support the weight of modern fire trucks and equipment.

“The floor has been supported with steel beams, so it’s no longer an issue with potential collapse or failure” Ishpeming Fire Chief Ed Anderson said. “The trucks are safely nested here.”

In addition to the steel beams, drain tiles were installed in the floor along the basement’s outer walls, Anderson said, to address some past issues with water collecting in those areas.

Ishpeming Department of Public Works Superintendent Jon Kangas said the drain tiles, made of a porous stone, allow water to permeate through to drain pipes installed underneath the tile. The pipes then carry the water to the basement sump pump.

Marquette-based Premeau Construction was awarded the bid for the installation of the steel beams in the basement as well as the footing drains for $88,745. A change order brought the total cost of the project to about $93,000.

City officials expect the structural reinforcements to allow the fire department to continue to use the historic firehall at least for the next few years.

Zach Jay can be reached at 906-486-4401. His email address is zjay@miningjournal.net