After being closed for two and a half years, the former Irving Street Fire Station, now known as the East Side Fire Station, was reopened after extensive renovations to serve the residents on the East Side of Allentown. Mayor Ed Pawlowski, Interim Fire Chief Bob Kudlak, retired Fire Chief Bob Scheirer, members of City Council and community leaders attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially commence the reopening of the station.
The original building, which was built in 1953, was closed in September, 2011 due to structural damage which included cracks in some walls and the foundation. Apparently, the building had been constructed over a water runoff area known as a drainage swale which caused the damage. The building was completely rebuilt on top of more than 40 yards of concrete to prevent this from ever happening again.
“This new station is a substantial improvement over the old facility,” said Mayor Pawlowski. “It is better for the firefighters and the equipment. It also has women’s quarters which were lacking in the old station.”
“The old station was pretty much a garage with very tight living quarters,” said Kudlak. “The workout area for the men consisted of a treadmill that sat between the firefighter’s beds.”
The newly renovated building, designed by W2A Design Group of Allentown for $1.95 million, consists of a three-bay, two-story station that can accommodate up to eight firefighters and two paramedics. Boyle Construction, also of Allentown, managed the project, and UGI donated appliances for the station. The Fire Department immediately began to move in, and the station is now fully manned.