One of Station Three's firemen looks at the damage caused over time
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -
A quick look at this fire station may not show anything unusual at first, but a closer look will reveal something else. Cracks are growing up and down the walls because part of this fire station is slowly sinking into the ground.
"We'll gage it each day and if we think it's at a point that they should no longer inhabit it, then we'll find another location," said James Carswell, Albany Fire Chief. "But right now we think it's safe based on what we've been told by the engineers."
Fire station-three was built in the mid-1980s on donated land. Workers discovered the sinkhole during land preparation, but engineers came up with a solution.
"They had a theory, I guess if you want to call it that, that they could actually fill up the throat of the sinkhole with concrete," said Carswell. "That would give them base support they could then build a station on. And I think that worked for a number of years."
He also said he thinks the sinkhole could have been worsened by a severe drought in the 90s and early 2000s.
Ever since that time, the walls continue to separate, cracks continue to grow, and windows have even broken out from the building's steady movement.
"Obviously if it continues to deteriorate then we'll have to make other decisions. Fortunately the commission has tentatively approved the construction of a new station. And so at least we have that end in sight," he said.
The city commission recently approved roughly $900,000 for a replacement firehouse. The floor plan for the new station, which will be on Honeysuckle Drive, is identical to that of another station on Newton road built in 2005.
In the mean time, this station will keep watch over the neighborhood.