LITTLE CHUTE, Wis. (WFRV) – It’s very early in the process, but the Little Chute Fire Department could be moving.

Currently, the village houses the fire department in its safety center which also contains the Fox Valley Metro Police Department. But, the two departments have outgrown the facility.

“It’s a win-win for the village because Fox Valley Metro Police Department they’re lacking space as well, so the plan is when we move out of here that would give them more space for their officers and their department,” said Little Chute Fire Department Assistant Chief Duane Nechodom.

Lack of office space, not enough storage space for gear, and a small meeting room are all reasons why department officials said they need to move to a bigger facility.

The village is in the early stages of planning for a project that would create a new facility at a different location. Early estimates indicate it could cost about $7.5 million and would get completed by 2025.

The other reason fire officials say they need the new facility is for safety reasons. Firefighters get exposed to smoke and other hazardous materials when they are out working. The current facility doesn’t have showers so firefighters can’t wash off right away before heading home. There also isn’t a place for them to store clean clothes at the station.

“The other issue is we’re right next to the elementary school so when we’re doing service calls we have firetrucks coming and going and lots of little kids running around,” said Nechodom.

The station’s proximity to the elementary school also could impact response times slightly because firetrucks have to watch their speed more carefully around the school especially when kids are around.

Another problem with the current facility is that trucks have to back into the station to park when they return from a call because there are not two entrances or enough room to pull in forwards and then turn around in the station. Firefighter officials say this is another safety issue.

Right now, fire officials are doing a space needs study. On Wednesday, village trustees will vote whether to expand the study to include where service calls are coming from, which would help them determine the best location for a new station. This extra part of the study will cost $5,500 on top of the $12,466 the village has paid for the study so far. The village budgeted $25,000 for the study.

The village administrator and fire officials say it’s too early to know exactly the method the village will use to pay for the project.

Little Chute has a volunteer fire department with 49 firefighters and one fire inspector.