FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Saturday afternoon, the East Fairmont Fire Station cornerstone was put into to place with a traditional ceremony.
This ceremony has been a tradition dating back in America all the way to the George Washington era, and they only hold the ceremony and place cornerstones in new schools, churches, or other public buildings or monuments.
The ceremony symbolizes the beginning or ending of something; in this case the East Fairmont Fire Station. The last time a cornerstone was placed in Marion county was in 2016 at East Fairmont Middle School.
“I’m excited, and like I said its been a long time coming for almost three years in reality, we’ve been working to get a new building, and now all we need is two signatures and then we can hit the ground running,” said Chief of the East Fairmont Fire Department Ed Simmons.
The cornerstone represents the first building block to a future building. A constant reminder of the steady foundation of when the building was just a lot.
Marion county has 28 total cornerstones in place across the county.
The current East Fairmont Fire Station is located only a few blocks away on Morgantown Avenue from where the new building will be located. The reason behind building a new facility is because of the lack of space and failure to meet healthy safety protocols for firefighters.
“It was not financially feasible to expand it because well we need to expand the fire department personnel, and we don’t know how much we would need in reality,” said Simmons. “We needed a new station for the future, and to take us into the 22nd century. I mean we have to get specialized smaller fire trucks because the old garage couldn’t fit the standard sized trucks. It was time to move, so we don’t have to worry about those things and we can respond better to calls.”
Fairmont City Council also put together a time capsule to place inside the cornerstone. City officials filled the capsule with business cards, newspapers, restaurant menus, and other symbols from significant events, traditions, and history happening in Marion county all leading up to 2020.
“It’s hopefully going to start, in the next month and its going to be at least a 14 month project it looks like. Hopefully the COVID-19 stuff will hold off, and won’t delay us anymore, because our guys really need a station.” Simmons said.
With the cornerstone officially in place, once they get the final two signatures they will be able to officially begin construction. The fire department hopes to move into their new facility in fall of 2021.