Old Rippey gym transforms to new Rippey firehouse

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The gymnasium addition to the Rippey Consolidated School, built in 1959, is being converted to use by the Rippey Volunteer Fire Department. Photo courtesy city of Rippey

The Rippey gymnasium addition, erected for the Rippey Consolidated School in 1959, is being re-engineered to house the Rippey Volunteer Fire Department.

The city of Rippey received $80,000 in April 2018 from Grow Greene County to repurpose the Rippey School gymnasium into a fire station.

The hardwood basketball court is being removed to be used in a home remodeling project. The center court jump ball area is to be placed on one of the walls, while the flooring will be used throughout the house.

The gym, stage and vocational-agriculture addition was to the north and east side of the original brick school, with the west addition used for elementary classrooms and the third floor made room for a new music department.

In 1962 the Rippey School merged with East Greene, and the three communities of Dana, Grand Junction and Rippey were together until 2014, when East Greene merged with the Greene County Community School District.

The Greene County School District at their May 20, 2015, meeting sold the building back to the city of Rippey for $1. Middle school basketball games were played at the gym until 2017.

The city of Rippey applied for a grant from Grow Greene County, which allocates Wild Rose Casino funds, with the funds to be used to refurbish the gym into a fire station.

The first order of construction was to change the roof from a flat roof, which was leaking, to a pitched roof. The attached rooms that originally served as housing for buses and then for classrooms also received a pitched roof in order to avoid leakage.

The bathrooms and locker rooms in the former vocational-agricultural classroom area will remain intact and used as a storm shelter for residents living in Rippey.

Construction crews have cut into the south wall and overheard doors have been installed, complete with automatic garage door openers.

The “lobby” entrance to the building is yet to be removed but will soon be completed to allow the fire trucks access to the building.

The remodeling of the building has been overseen by Rippey Mayor Dan Brubaker and the Rippey City Council.

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