LAKE PLACID - The sounds of hammers and saws could be heard coming from the rear of the Lake Placid Volunteer Ambulance Service garage last week.
Construction of an approximately 6,000-square-foot, two-floor addition to the ambulance garage has been under way since late spring.
"Pretty much it is progressing every day," said Larry Brockway, president of the LPVAS. "It's very gratifying to see."
Larry Brockway and Ron Brenner, officials with the Lake Placid Volunteer Ambulance Service, show off a fully framed addition to the ambulance garage on Jan. 12.
(Photo for the Enterprise — Margaret Moran)
By Jan. 12, framing for the addition had gone up and shingles were being put on the roof.
"There's a lot of things they still need," Brockway said. "They still need to put in doors and windows and siding."
But overall, the construction of the addition has been right on schedule, according to Brockway.
"It's been a mild winter, so it has assisted us," said Ron Brenner, administrator to the vice president of the LPVAS. "In September and October we were thinking, 'OK, what can we get done for the winter,' knowing that we can have some really harsh winters here. But it hasn't been that bad, so the weather hasn't impacted us so far."
The hope is for the first floor of the addition to be completed and furnished, and the second floor enclosed by May.
"It's contingent on the weather," Brenner said.
Once completed, the addition will provide the ambulance service with much-needed space.
"We've been very crowded over the last few years," Brenner said. "We're getting a little tight in terms of meeting space and also for the ambulances. We have three ambulances and a first-response vehicle, and we can't put them all under one roof. We can't fit them in our present facility."
Based on the layout for the ambulance garage addition, the first floor will house all three ambulances and the first-response vehicle, along with a decontamination room, laundry facilities, a bathroom, storage rooms and lockers.
The second floor will have two board rooms, a large training room, a kitchen and food pantry, and a deck.
"We're taking pride in seeing the job is finally being done," Brenner said. "We're planning for the future - not our own needs, but the needs of the community, since the calls are increasing and there's no sign that it's going to let up."
The LPVAS responded to 1,557 calls in 2011, 65 more than in 2010, according to Brockway.
"And already 12 days into January, we're already over 50 calls," Brenner said. "It's just busy. And we noticed over the years the pattern that's going on, and that has really increased the need to get this (addition) done because we're really maxing out our facility."
The estimated cost for the addition is $250,000, and so far, the cost to construct it has been paid for by community donations.
"We've been very fortunate with people giving us (monetary) donations and in-kind services," Brockway said. "The community has been very, very supportive. We have not had to take out any money out of our general fund up to this point to put into the building. It's all been done by fund raising and donations by individuals, companies and foundations."
As of December, the LPVAS, a private, nonprofit emergency medical service, has received approximately $179,000 in donations.
"There are no words," Brenner said, in response to the community's generosity.
"I've had a lot of teary eyes from the donations that have been given," Brockway said.
To make a donation, make a check out to LPVAS and either mail it to P.O. Box 107, Lake Placid, NY 12946, or drop it off at 388 Mill Pond Drive.