By Deanna Kirk
Corsicana Daily Sun
A huge step was taken Thursday toward the realization of a dream, when a crew of Lowe’s employees from Ennis came to Barry Volunteer Fire Department and spent the day installing donated sheetrock.
Housed until recently in a small, tin building, the volunteer fire department which actually formed in 1960 began dreaming of a real fire station, “a home of its own,” just seven years ago, with the ground breaking in October 2012.
“When we started, we hoped in the first year just to get the foundation done, the outside walls on and the doors,” said fire chief Mike Ball. “We got a grant from the J. Edens Trust for $20,000. Then my neighbor Joanne Cates put us in for the Lowe’s Heroes program, which provided $1,200 worth of materials, and they send a crew down to install it.”
Ball said the entire building has been constructed with volunteer labor, save for the foundation and the spray-in insulation, which was contracted out. Much of the labor has come from the community of Barry itself.
“If we can raise just a little bit more money, we can finish this by mid-October,” Ball said. “That’s our goal.”
And Barry VFD will have a fine home it owns free and clear, with plenty of room for training, (provided eagerly by retired firefighter Loyde Junkin of Palmer), not to mention community gatherings for barbecues and benefits. Designed with all that in mind, there are even two handicapped accessible restrooms.
In addition to bringing sheetrock, Lowe’s also donated two gigantic metal racks for storing tires in the firehouse. The department purchased cabinets for the kitchen/meeting room at ReStore, a source from which Habitat for Humanity gets its cabinets at a discount. There will be enough space for the trucks, as well as storage, training, and classes.
For Lowe’s and it’s Lowe’s Heroes program, this day in Barry may be a first.
“This is the first time we’ve come to Navarro County,” said Ricky Gammill, location manager of Ennis Lowe’s. “We normally operate in Ellis County. We gear toward non-profit organizations who operate on donations.
“We help with all kinds of projects, but we are somewhat limited on funds, and there are not many people in working in our store. But about half of our employees live in Navarro County, so we’ve tried to branch out into Navarro County.”
Soon the sleepy little town of Barry will have a nice, new, fully-functional fire station, and its chief and other volunteer firefighters are delighted to reach this milestone.
“We tried to design the building to last at least 50 years,” Ball said. “There are no words to express my gratitude for the community, what they have given in time, effort and donations. To me it’s a dream come true.”
Deanna Kirk is a Daily Sun staff writer and editor of Explore magazine. She may be reached via email at email@example.com. Want to Soundoff on this story? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.