CAPE MAY, N.J. (CBS) -- Cape May leaders cut the ribbon on a new $5.2 million firehouse Wednesday evening.
Cape May Fire Chief Alexander Coulter said the new building is the result of nine years of planning, designing and construction.
"I'm very excited," Chief Coulter said. "I'm very happy for the fire department, the city and the residents and visitors."
Besides a spacious engine bay, new bunk rooms and a comfy lounge area, Chief Coulter said the firehouse is designed to protect firefighters with two state-of-the-art rooms where firefighters can decontaminate their equipment of carcinogens following a fire.
"In our old building, I always tell the story about [how] I came back from a call one time, and I had to be deconned," Chief Coulter said. "We didn't have the ability. I couldn't come in the building. I did it outside, which was interesting for the people in the trolley that drove by us [as] I was using a garden hose at the time."
Next door to the firehouse, the city's spending millions of dollars to turn the old Franklin Street School into a library and just a block away is the Harriet Tubman Museum.
Mayor Zachary Mullock hopes the area becomes a new district to attract residents and tourists.
"This whole block is going to be kind of our downtown arts and culture," Mayor Mullock said. "But, obviously, protection for the entire city here at this firehouse."
Cape May resident Steve Bodnar is excited to see this revitalized district nearing completion.
"City's done a great job of developing the Franklin Street block," Bodnar said.
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