Now that the concrete base has hardened, the steel structure that will be the new North Custer Rural Fire District’s Challis fire hall has begun to take form.
“It’ll look like a real building here in about three weeks, three and a half,” Steve Ruhter, steel manager and 27-year employee of Petersen Brothers Construction, said.
Rulon Wellard, owner of Wellard Constructors in Salmon, hired Petersen Brothers of Twin Falls, to spend the next month placing and securing the steel, skeletal structure of the fire hall before the siding goes on.
“Next will be stuff like windows, doors, insulation and then the roof,” Ruhter said. He expects the job to go smoothly, but said he’d make it go faster if he could. Projects that involve taxpayer money need to be done in a timely manner, according to Ruhter.
“We won’t rush it, but we’ll get it done as soon as we can,” Ruhter said. “We work for the customer, not the job.”
For Ruhter, the customers are the firefighters who are in sore need of a new fire hall. Petersen Brothers workers helped build the current fire hall, according to Ruhter, so he is familiar with its limitations.
The current fire hall, which will be turned over to Custer County Search and Rescue once the new one is finished, is too small to house several large engines and pieces of equipment.
The new, 10,000-square-foott, all-steel building will hold all the firefighters’ equipment and vehicles and leave enough room for an office and showers.
Ruhter is thankful for the job. The coronavirus pandemic hit the construction industry right as it was getting ready for summer construction season, and Ruhter said some of his colleagues are aching for work.