WCCC Students Help with Fire House Restoration

By Jayna Smith

WCCC students Mike Lursen and Patrick Hatch work on the ceilings at St. Croix No. 1 Fire House.  (Photo provided by Richard Ramsey)

The St. Croix No. 1 Fire House on Church Street continues moving forward with restoration.  Thanks to Washington County Community College, the extensive upstairs ceilings project has begun. 

“The original ceiling that was put there in the 30s was a block and tile ceiling,” Fire House Association member Dick Barnard explained.  “We wanted to put the sheetrock up first and clean it up a little bit with some added protection, and then the college students will put masonite ceiling tiles up after that.”

Richard Ramsey, Construction Technology Instructor at WCCC, said, “We do some projects for the community and we have some projects we have to do on campus to make sure we cover everything with carpentry.  The fire hall ceiling is a great project for the guys.”  And, because the students in the program are learning, the labor is provided at no cost to the Fire House Association.  Fundraisers such as 50/50 raffles, road tolls, and hot dogs sales at summer concerts help cover the cost of materials. 

Ramsey said there are four students working on the fire house project, but that is not the only project for students of the carpentry-based program.  “We have a new building we’re putting together on campus for the small engine and power sports program that actually came on board this year.  That is a huge building and we are about two thirds of the way done with that right now.”  That building, he said, is 40’ by 48’ with 14 foot high walls.  “It’s beautiful,” he added.

The WCCC students built a garage at the cemetery last year for the City of Calais as well and will soon begin a new office at the highway department.  “We do a lot in the community and like to be involved,” Ramsey said.  

“I would just like to thank the people in the area for supporting the restoration project from the beginning.  We’ve been at this now for ten years and we’ve never yet had anyone say that they really can’t do something for us,” Barnard said.  “People have been really supportive with our projects and fundraisers.  For that, we’ve been very grateful.”

Anyone wishing to mail donations may do so to St. Croix No. 1 Fire House, PO Box 605, Calais, ME  04619.  St. Croix No. 1 Fire House can also be followed on Facebook.