May 28, 2010 John Zych Uncategorized
Fayetteville officials will move the ceremonial first shovel of dirt Memorial Day morning to signal the beginning of a new era at the fire department.
At 8 a.m., prior to the veterans’ wreath-laying ceremony in Triangle Park, village mayor Mark Olson, fire chief Paul Hildreth and others will kick off a yearlong construction project to the build the much-anticipated expansion to the firehouse on East Genesee Street.
Last week, the lawsuit that had stifled the construction was settled and modifications were made to appease both parties. Olson said there will be more trees to deflect headlights; a storm water basin will be constructed underground and four parking spots will be eliminated.
“We can now see light at the end of the tunnel,” Hildreth said last week. “We were always staying focused on the end result. Now, we’re ready to go.”
The proposed $6.4 million project will add much needed room at the firehouse that was built in 1954.
Village officials have worked with Sean Foran of Heuber-Breuer Construction Co., Inc. of Syracuse for more than two years. Three community forums preceded the vote last June when village residents approved the project. The Facilities and Needs Assessment Report was filed in 2008.
The Fayetteville department, according to the report, is the busiest fire station in the county for the past six years.
During that time, the ambulance service calls to the Northeast Medical Center near Towne Center and several independent living communities have increased dramatically. The demand has necessitated an additional third rig to supplement the two existing ambulances and the medic car.
The demand, along with the size of the ambulance apparatus, has created unrealistic and unsafe situations at the original station, which are the ambulance quarters.
A fire bay was added in 1987 to house the firefighting and rescue apparatus.
The 1954 structure, which now houses the ambulances, will be replaced by a 21,000 square foot two-story structure that will provide a safer egress for apparatus and responders; easier passage between parked apparatus; separate gear-donning space; improved and expanded EMS storage and accommodations for future staff. Also, it will make the fire station compliant with federal and state standards.
Construction crews will begin work on the site in the next week, according to Foran, who briefed the village board May 10. Although the lawsuit set the construction timetable back two months, Foran said crews will work six days a week if needed.
“We are agents for the village of Fayetteville,” said Foran, who added his company would have a supervisor on site throughout the construction.
The fire department will re-locate to O’Brien & Gere down the street while the fire station gets its makeover.
John Zych is a regular contributing writer for the Eagle Bulletin.