Charleston seeking FEMA grant to repair two historic fire stations downtown

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston's Parks Department is seeking more than $9 million through a FEMA Grant Program to make repairs to two historic fire stations in downtown Charleston.

One is Station 8 located on Huger Street built in 1910 and the other is Station 2 and 3 that share a building on Meeting Street. It was built in1887.

Fire stations in downtown Charleston are a part of the city's history. At one point a horse and buggy was the mode in transportation to fires.

Director of the city's parks department, Jason Kronsberg, says history is important in Charleston.

"We want to preserve what we have," Kronsberg said.

They also want to improve, and that's why they are seeking millions of dollars through the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program to make structural improvements to the two fire stations.

"Our new building codes require certain seismic and hurricane proof measures," Kronsberg said.

When both were built more than 100 years ago they were not constructed to today's standards for withstanding natural disasters like hurricanes, flooding, and earthquakes.

"These grants will enable us to seismically upgrade these buildings," Kronsberg said.

That means going into the core of the building and adding another frame to make it stronger.

"In these cases it would be steal stresses built adjacent to the exiting walls encased with more historic style material," Kronsberg said.

It would also include interior improvements to things like the plumbing and roofing.

The projects for the two buildings are estimated to cost more than $12 million dollars. If the FEMA grant is rewarded it would reimburse 75 percent of that cost to the city.

According to the Parks Department Station 8 improvements are estimated to cost $3,869,643. Improvements to Station 2 and 3 are expected to cost $8,361,410.

The work is predicted to take three years which includes the design and permitting process in addition to the physical work.

The parks department is also requesting funds for a new power system to replace generators that range from 20 to 38 years old. The total estimated cost for replacements is $460, 602.

The city would be notified at the end of the year if it receives the grant through the South Carolina Emergency Management Division.

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