|American LaFrance has a target date of June 1 or before to have all machinery, products and people into a new headquarters and assembly plant in Berkeley County. (ALF Illustration)|
|ALF’s collection of 18 fully restored apparatus, including a rare 1858 Button and Blake hand pumper were recently moved to the North Charleston and American LaFrance Fire Museum and Education Center, in North Charleston, S.C. Many of the units were delivered by antique trucks and flatbeds and upwards of 100 people greeted the convoy as it pulled into its new home. (ALF Photo)|
Work on the new home site of American LaFrance’s headquarters and assembly plant is on track for an opening by June 1.
Last month, the concrete slabs for the building had been poured and the wall panels had been erected. The plan is to move the machinery into the new facility by mid-May with product and employees moved by June 1.
The facilities, both of which are being constructed by Spartanburg-based Johnson Development Associates, Inc., are located just off of Interstate 26 in Berkeley County.
To better display the progress of the new headquarters, the company attached a 24/7 Web cam to a nearby rooftop which allows the viewer to see progress in nearly real time. The Web cam as well as up to date still shots can be accessed at www.americanlafrance.com, under the news link.
When construction is final, the company will have a 440,000 square foot state-of-the-art, custom fire and vocational products manufacturing and assembly plant, and a 57,000 square foot headquarters.
Included with the facility is a vehicle test track, a pump test pit and a retail store, outfitted with American LaFrance merchandise and memorabilia.
This year marks the 175th anniversary of American LaFrance and festivities to mark the milestone will coincide with the grand opening celebration of the headquarters this summer.
Also in conjunction with the 175th anniversary celebration is the relocation of 18 fully restored antique apparatus to the North Charleston and American LaFrance Fire Museum and Education Center which is slated to open some time this month. The museum and center is located at 4975 Centre Pointe Drive, North Charleston, S.C.
In preparation for that opening, a convoy of 12 open flatbed tractor trailers, many of which are antiques themselves, transported the antique fire apparatus from Cleveland, N.C., to the new museum.
A crowd of more than 100 cheering spectators and American LaFrance buffs, eager to be part of this historical event, welcomed the convoy of trucks. The collection of antique apparatus, including an 1858 Button and Blake hand pumper, will be one of the main exhibits in the museum.
The museum will also include hands-on safety displays for children that promise to be both educational and entertaining, according to American LaFrance.
For information call 888-253-8725 or go to www.americanlafrance.com