The Lindenhurst Village board has hired an architect to design a new building to replace the village's main firehouse.

Marty Sendlewski of Riverhead is to provide the design drawings to the village at a cost not to exceed $262,500.

The South Wellwood Avenue firehouse, built in 1923, suffered severe fire damage in 1978. Fire officials also have said the building is too small for modern trucks, requiring existing vehicles to be customized at a high cost to fit inside. Most companies no longer do customization, officials said.

Sendlewski, whose business specializes in firehouses, was brought in earlier this year for a third opinion after the board received two conflicting reports on the structure's safety. Sendlewski said he found that steel girders supporting the building are almost completely eroded and the firehouse could not be saved.

The proposed new building will be larger, adding several thousand square feet of space. The addition will require taking over the space used by the Old Village Hall Museum, which will be relocated elsewhere in the village.

Village officials have asked Sendlewski to make the building energy efficient, including using solar panels and a geothermal heating system. The building will be paid for with a $6 million bond, costing the average taxpayer an extra $39.70 annually.

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In 2008, the village proposed building a firehouse on another site with a $7.5 million bond. Residents soundly rejected it in a vote, and officials abandoned the idea. The current proposed bond will not be put up for a vote, village officials said.

Clerk-Treasurer Shawn Cullinane said the village hopes to have the completed drawings by summer and then will begin the bid process for construction. Officials said they hope to have the firehouse completed by early 2014.