Editor's note: The following article ran in the Saturday, July 21, 2012, edition of the Cape Coral Breeze.
Local dignitaries, Cape Coral business professionals and city workers dedicated the Chester Street Resource Center at a ceremony Thursday.
The building, a joint project for the Cape Coral Construction Industry Association, Community Redevelopment Agency and city of Cape Coral, will house a police substation and serve as a community resource center.
Cape Coral Construction Industry Association President Anthony Greco, Mayor John Sullivan, Community Redevelopment Agency Commissioner Frank Dethlefsen and CRA Board Chair Rich Greer cut the ribbon Thursday during the dedication ceremony for the new Chester Street Resource Center.
It once served as the city's first fire station, among other roles.
"This was a true testament about what people can do (when they work together)," said CCCIA member Rick Clark, who helped come up with the initial idea of refurbishing the old fire station and turning it into a center.
"It's just a win-win-win," he said.
The center also will serve the memory of two past members of the community. A mural on one side of the building is dedicated to Michael T. "Mickey" McCarthy, while a plaque at the front honors Patti Schnell.
McCarthy, a firefighter, died while responding to an accident in 1984. The vehicle caught on fire and he ripped the door off of it to get to the driver. In doing so, McCarthy had a heart attack and died on scene, officials stated.
The driver was extracted from the car and saved.
Schnell was the executive director of the CCCIA from 1998-2010.
Attendees said the building helps to memorialize her work and passion.
Mayor John Sullivan spoke during the ceremony, along with CRA Executive Director John Jacobsen and CRA Commissioner Frank Dethlefsen.
Dethlefsen said it is his agency's responsibility to improve the Cape.
"Without the public-private partnership that you guys brought, this project would have never occurred," he said.
City Councilmember Marty McClain called the project "a great idea."
"What a great addition to the South Cape," he said, noting that the council embraced the project when it came forward. "It was a great effort."
According to officials, the project took about two years complete.
Chester Street Resource Center is at 4816 Chester St.