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Location, location: Bridgeport City Council discusses site

By Racey Burden | Published Wednesday, April 11, 2018
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The future location of Bridgeport’s fire department is likely the 1400 block of Thompson Street, at the site of the old bus barn.

A local salvage company offered to demo the bus barn for free if they could keep the metal from the building. City Manager Jesica McEachern estimated it would cost the city $4,000 to rent dumpsters during the demo.

The city council also discussed the fate of the former high school building on that same lot at their Monday pre-council meeting.

“Tear it down,” council member Jimmy Meyers said. “My vote goes for a vacant lot.

“Do we really want to put $1 million in a [fire department] and have that piece of crap behind it?”

Mayor Randy Singleton noted that Bridgeport ISD Superintendent Brandon Peavey asked if the district could save some pieces of the old building. He also said the historical society didn’t want it. The rest of the council agreed the building should be demolished.

McEachern said the city looked into demolition costs for the school a decade ago, and asbestos removal alone was estimated at $40,000. But, “it would cost far more to renovate and rehabilitate than to just take it down,” McEachern said.

She said there’s room on the lot for the fire department to expand should they need to add living quarters for paid firefighters in the future, and even if the building is expanded, there would still be empty land at that location.

“There’s still tons of space to do parks, a library, anything else we need,” McEachern said.

The public works department currently stores some of its equipment in the old bus barn. That equipment will likely be stored in the old fire hall once the fire department moves to its new location.

Bridgeport received a $1 million grant for a new fire station from the Texas General Land Office in March. The old fire station sits in a flood plain.

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