Tuesday, 31 January 2017 08:00

Fire hall restoration brings new life to building

Written by  Stephanie Labbe
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The Carmangay fire hall after a refreshing coat of paint. The Carmangay fire hall after a refreshing coat of paint. Photo contributed

Much-needed renovations will take place this year to the old Carmangay Fire Hall with help from the Carmangay Historical Society.


The old fire hall in Carmangay will have the exterior completely restored to the way it was when it was built in 1912.
“The tower has had extensive work done on the inside to make it strong enough to hold the original bell … that weighs approximately 500 pounds and withstand the southern Alberta winds,” says Laurie Lyckman, Carmangay Historical Society. “All renos must comply with the guidelines put out by the province.”
Officials had hoped to have the renovations completed in the fall of 2016, but the footings need to be done in the spring.
In order to do the footings, they will have to lift the back part of the fire hall and subsequently couldn’t install the bell until this was done.
The original bell from the fire hall will be placed as part of the renovations, but nothing has been done to the bell or hardware that is with it other than a coat of black paint on the hardware to refresh it.
“Putting the bell in the tower will make our fire hall … the only one in the province of its type with the original bell. There are other fire halls that have their original bell, but the ones we have found are brick. There had to be an engineer study done on the tower to do this,” adds Lyckman.
She says the engineer had been looking at the fire hall in the fall of 2015 and some weather proofing had to be done to prevent any more damage.
The rest of the renovation work began in May 2016 and they completed everything, but the footings and the bell in November 2016.
Lyckman says they received grants from the Alberta Heritage Resource Foundation, Community Foundation of Lethbridge and Southern Alberta, Carmangay Agricultural Society, Carmangay Community Centre, Carmangay Lions Club, Carmangay Recreation Board and the Blackspring Ridge Windmill Project in order to cover the costs of these renovations.
Once all of the renovations are complete, hopefully this spring and the bell is placed, the old fire hall will be used to store their 1932 Ford Truck that has been restored along with various antique equipment the Volunteer Fire Department has been keeping.

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