The interior of the 92-year-old downtown Moscow Volunteer Fire Department station is receiving a $190,000 makeover.

Debby Carscallen, emergency medical services division chief, said the downstairs kitchen will be converted into a volunteer lounge; three first-floor offices, including her own, will become more functional; the downstairs bathroom will be Americans with Disabilities Act compliant; and the upstairs kitchen will be more accommodating for resident firefighters.

Carscallen said Sprenger Construction started the project early last month and is expected to complete it in early August.

The construction is funded through MVFD fundraising efforts.

Carscallen said the lounge will allow firefighters to write reports, conduct meetings, do homework with a reliable internet connection and hang out while waiting to respond to calls.

She said the lounge should provide a space for volunteers to interact with their fellow firefighters and hopefully form a stronger bond.

“I’m hopeful it will be very welcoming,” Carscallen said.

She said an improved internet connection and additional outlets will be available so volunteers — many of whom are also students at the University of Idaho — are not forced to walk to downtown coffee shops to do homework while waiting for calls.

In that regard, the new space will prevent them from having to run back to the station with their laptop and books when responding to a call.

A computer station will be available so firefighters can write reports, as well as kitchen appliances like a refrigerator, dishwasher and sink will be installed in the lounge. A couple of tables and comfortable chairs will fill out the room and a drop ceiling will be installed above the lounge to reduce echoing.

Walls will be added in the adjacent office space so Carscallen, the EMS coordinator, and fire training officer, have their own office.

The old carpet in the office area was torn out, and Carscallen said it will be replaced with a hard, durable surface that can be thoroughly cleaned. She said it is important to replace the carpet with a hard surface because carpets can absorb harmful substances tracked in from firefighters’ boots.

Carscallen said the upstairs kitchen will be remodeled so it is more functional for the resident firefighters who live on the second floor. Previously, they mostly used the small downstairs kitchen where the lounge will be.

The currently gutted kitchen will include a large refrigerator to accommodate the resident firefighters and other volunteers who use it, as well as cookware, cupboards and pantries.

The last major improvement project the downtown fire station underwent was last year’s brick replacement on the exterior of the building’s front wall.

Moscow Fire Chief Brian Nickerson told the Daily News at the time the entire project, which included other minor repair work to the building, cost about $100,000 and was also funded through donations.

Garrett Cabeza can be reached at (208) 883-4631, or by email to gcabeza@dnews.com.

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