WYOMING — The Wyoming Volunteer Hose Company No. 2 is moving its social club facility, but only a few feet to the left.
The hose company is finishing up a brand new building that will be larger for both its firefighters and the general public.
“They have to be a social member to enter the building,” said hose company secretary Don Robbins. “As long as you have a valid ID and someone sponsors you, meaning someone in the social club or fire department has to know you, (you can be a member).”
A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new facility will be Sunday, Jan. 17 and will be attended by state Sen. John Yudichak and state Rep. Aaron Kaufer. There will also be beer and pizza.
According to hose company president Tony Yurek, the building will not be complete and the ribbon cutting ceremony is mostly for the bar area.
The new building is 9,000 square feet spanning one floor, which includes a catering area, a kitchen, a bar and a garage for the firetruck.
The bar will serve draft beer and has five small TVs, one larger TV, a pool table, a shuffle board and two dart boards.
Yurek said the new catering area can hold up to 180 people. .
The current garage is 25 feet, 6 inches in length, which leaves only 6 inches of clearance for the 25-foot firetruck. The new space is 45 feet in total length — 10 feet are used for office space, but that still leaves 10 feet of clearance for the truck.
More wiggle room was a desire that gave the hose company incentive to build a new space, said Yurek.
“We’re kind of tight-quartered over there,” he said. “We’ve been saving up our money trying to get stuff done, and we’ve been buying property little by little and when we got the chance, we expanded.”
The property was where Wyoming Valley Drafting Center once stood, but the store was torn down when the hose company purchased the property three years ago.
Money to purchase the property, hire a contractor and begin constructing the building was raised over the course of 10 years through fundraising by the hose company and renting out its social hall for events and catering.
Construction began last summer and the building is expected to be 100 percent complete by spring, but in the mean time hose company members are working tirelessly on the finishing touches.
“We’re here 10 hours a day, probably,” said Robbins. “Tony is usually here in the morning, we got home to take a break and eat lunch and then the guys that actually work, because I’m semi-retired so I don’t work other than here, they come back and put four or five hours in doing little jobs.”
The original social club building, which was purchased in 1908 by the Wyoming Volunteer Fire Hose Company No. 2, will eventually be torn down.
With the new social club facility nearing completion, Yurek said he is looking forward to the contribution it will make to the community and the hose company.
“Overall, the best thing is that we’ll be on one floor and be able to operate more efficiently,” he said. “The building itself is a lot more efficient with heat and electricity and switching over from regular lights to LED (light-emitting diode) lights and it saves a lot of money in the long run.”