Published: 9/14/2021 5:32:50 PM
GREENFIELD — The Fire Station Building Committee has approved using $24,500 for the cost of improvements to the basement level of 13 Prospect St., which will be used as administrative offices for the temporary fire station.
The vote on Monday evening followed a favorable recommendation of the Temporary Fire Station Building Committee last week.
Fire Chief Robert Strahan explained to the committee that the trailers installed in the Hope Street municipal parking lot — though their designs on paper appeared to fit the needs of the department — were “a bit smaller than we anticipated.”
During daytime hours, he said, the department could have as many as nine people trying to operate off computer desks out of four offices.
“Not only was that problematic, but the ability to have a private conversation in the trailer is also going to be problematic,” Strahan said.
He said the Prospect Street location, located next door to the temporary station on Hope Street, “would fill all our needs with very little work to the building.”
Strahan said the $24,500 would cover the cost of architectural work, replacing an exterior door and some minor interior work. Strahan noted the building is owned by the state, and once the work is completed, there will be no expectation to pay rent or utilities.
Temporary Fire Station Building Committee Chair David Moscaritolo said he’d toured the space with Strahan and understood his concerns.
“I think one of the things to me when touring the temporary station housing the Fire Department was the public having to go to the temporary fire station with a lot of activity going on,” he said. “I also felt it was important the public had a different space to go to.”
He said the additional office space for the department is “a great opportunity.”
Earlier this year, construction began on the temporary fire station on Hope Street, which the city expects to use for roughly two years while a new one is built at the former open-air market property. The current fire station on Main Street will eventually be demolished to make way for construction of the new library.
After minimal discussion, the Fire Station Building Committee unanimously approved the chief’s request.
Strahan thanked the committee for its support.
“We’ll be able to move our office furniture once now instead of twice,” he said. “So thanks for your support.”
With final inspections expected to take place by the end of this week, Project Manager Neil Joyce said he anticipates daily operations to begin out of the temporary station first shift Monday morning.
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