Conway plans for a new home for city's police and fire departments

CONWAY, SC (WMBF)- The saying goes "out with the old, in with the new."  In the next few weeks what is left of the old Conway Hospital will be torn down to make room for the new home of the city's police and fire departments.

"We'll finish demolishing the buildings that are there," said Conway Mayor Alys Lawson.  "We are out looking for proposals now for a design build team that will design a combination building for the police and fire departments."

The construction of the new public safety building could start sometime later next year, Lawson said.  She said the good news is that it will not cost taxpayers any extra money.

"We've got the funding in hand for this building so that won't require any additional taxes for funding the building of the public safety building," Lawson said.

Both the current police and fire stations in Conway are old facilities.  The fire station was built in the 1960s and the police station was built during the 1970s, Lawson said.

Conway Fire Chief Ricky Baker said his current station on 4th Avenue is becoming too small for his fire crew.

"It's like everything else it has a life span to it," said Chief Baker. "Buildings a lot of times they may be 40 or 50 years but we've outgrown the facility."

Chief Baker also said it will be a good thing having both the fire and police departments under one roof.

"We operate a lot together in the street," Chief Baker said.  "We are all the time working together so I thought it would have some benefit to it to put us in the same facility that way it brings our bonding closer together."

Conway City Council member Irby Koon said the total cost of the project is estimated to be around $5 million.  He said the next step in the process will be to start taking bids from contractors to work on the project, which he added, will start some time after the New Year.

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