Photo by Kellen M. Quigley
Members of the Great Valley Volunteer Fire Department recently received a breath of fresh air from Armor Supply of Olean, who donated $1,500 to the fire company for new replacement air bottles. Pictures (from left): Mark Ward, assistant fire chief; Don Martin, salesman for Armor; Fire Chief Jim Evans; and Ron Konka, Armor manager.

By Kellen M. Quigley

The Great Valley Volunteer Fire Department’s clubhouse has been a much loved and used space in community for years, but it was in desperate need of cosmetic improvements.

This summer, the building on Depot Street received a facelift all along the outside, matching what people first see when approaching the clubhouse to the quality of the facilities inside.

“We recently put masonry stone, some new windows and doors and PVC siding on the firemen’s clubhouse,” said Mark Ward, assistant fire chief.

Ward said this was the first time the fire company had done anything to the exterior since it was built in 1983, with the exception of occasional painting and fixing the roof.

“It’s a fairly significant project,” he added. “We tried to improve the curb appeal.”

The materials came from Armor Building Supply, of Olean, the department’s long-time supplier, Ward said.

To show their support of the fire company, Armor recently donated $1,500 for purchasing new SCBA air bottles, which often about $800 each, Ward said. The SCBA air bottles last for about 10 years and have to be replaced regularly to meet safety standards.

“They’ve worked with us over the years on projects at the firehall,” he added. “It was very nice, very thoughtful… It’s great when a company like this supports the community.”

Although a majority of the project is complete, there is still some more to do planned for early next spring, such as some landscaping around the building. Ward said they may plant some shrubs or small trees.

Over the years, Ward said the inside has been re-done the flooring, carpeting and wall a number of different times over the years, as well as the bar, kitchen and bathrooms.

The fire company rents out the clubhouse space regularly for community functions and events. Ward said they try to rent the building inexpensively or free if possible, such as for funerals, senior group functions and fundraisers for locals who had a tragedy in their family.

“It truly is a community facility that people in the area are welcome to use, and it serves a great purpose that way,” he added. “We just thought it was time to get it looking a little better.”