York City's historic Rex/Laurel fire station to get major upgrades

Matt Enright
York Dispatch

York City's historic Rex/Laurel Fire Station is about to get a significant makeover.

On Tuesday, the City Council signed off on a $35,000 contract for architectural and engineering services for the project. Officials already approved $750,000 worth of COVID-19 aid funding toward the renovations.

Fire Chief William Sleeger said the fire station hasn't been significantly renovated since its construction — in 1877.

"The station needs to have the windows replaced, which some are the original glass from when it was built," he said.

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Sleeger said the project's designed to bring the station up to modern building code standards. That includes new utilities, a generator and a modern-day kitchen and duty office.

York City Fire Chief William Sleeger Jr. smiles while addressing the crowd at his swearing in ceremony at York City Hall on Monday, July 19, 2021.

For now, at least, the city doesn't have a firm timetable for when the project will be completed.

It's one of many projects that has been supported by the City Council in the past few months using its $35.3 million allotment of federal dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act.

The question of how to spend this money proved controversial — even resulting in a down-to-the-wire budget process in December — but the council's ultimate plans for the money bore many similarities to the plan put forward by Mayor Michael Helfrich.

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Memorials are left at York City Fire Station No. 1 in York City, Friday, March 23, 2018. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Rex/Laurel is one of the oldest continually operating fire houses in the country. The project has also received $1.5 million from the state's Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program as part of renovations to the city's fire stations.

— Reach Matt Enright via email at menright@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @Matthew_Enright.