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50 years after fire, Belmont School site sees new life | Business

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50 years after fire, Belmont School site sees new life
Business, News, Schools
50 years after fire, Belmont School site sees new life

The Andersonville Volunteer Fire Department is hard at work building a new fire hall, but you won't find construction workers on the job site.

Instead of a contractors, they're relying on men in their 60's and 70's who have a unique connection to that plot of land.

"I went to the grammar school here in 1952," said James Ridenour, 75. Andersonville's newest fire station will sit on the same site as the former Belmont Grammar School, which burned down in the 1960's.

"The (school) gym used to be here -- built by the community," Ridenour added; his father was one of those builders.

Now this great-grandfather is doing some building of his own.

"These fellas coming up here to work are people who went to school here and we're telling them their building a clubhouse," Andersonville fire chief Jeff Bagwell laughed.

Half a dozen former Belmont students, all retired, are now spending their time giving this plot of land a new purpose -- to save lives.

"Right now, for response time, it's about 20 minutes to get out here," Chief Bagwell added.

It's a race against the clock now for these workers to get a roof on this building before winter.

Despite the setbacks that comes with age, folks like Ridenour said they're glad the memories of his former school coming alive again.

"I enjoy seeing this thing being built up by so many people. Keep it going -- make something out of it," the great-grandfather smiled.

Construction is scheduled to finish by spring 2013.




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