New fire, police stations on schedule

By Kim Howard
Observer staff

As residents and emergency officials debate the merits of an upcoming vote to expand Williston emergency services, the new fire and rescue station is moving quickly toward completion.

Construction of Williston’s new station will be largely complete by the end of April, according to Dan Heath, job site superintendent with Bread Loaf Corp.

“It’s going to be a sharp-looking building,” Heath said at the end of a 30-minute tour with a reporter on Monday.

The 23,000-square-foot building is located at the corner of U.S. Route 2 and Talcott Rd. A new 13,000-square-foot police station also is being constructed adjacent to Town Hall on U.S. Route 2.

The combined $8 million project costs homeowners roughly $50 per $100,000 of a home’s assessed value. For a $300,000 house, that’s $150 a year.

The late arrival of cold weather this winter enabled crews to get more exterior work done on the fire station earlier than expected, Heath said, allowing his crew to focus on interior work through winter. By spring, Heath said some landscaping and sidewalk work will still need to be done outside.

“About the time that happens, inside here we’ll be right down the punch list wrapping little odds and ends up,” Heath said.

The east side of the new fire and emergency medical services station includes two large truck garage bays, a smaller back garage, a gear room and training areas above the bays. The far side of that area has a partial certification of occupancy to allow some fire vehicles to be stored there during the winter.

The west side of the building includes four offices, two conference/work rooms, a fitness center, five dorm rooms, two locker rooms, three bathrooms, storage rooms, a kitchen, a dining room, a laundry room and a common living room.

Heath’s counterpart in charge of the new police station construction is on vacation this week. Heath, who’s in charge in the meantime, said the police station is likely to be ready within a few weeks after the fire and rescue station.

“He’s got a little more exterior site work to do, but it’s a lot smaller site so it should go quick,” Heath said.

The police station includes a secured garage called a “sallyport,” an evidence garage, a 40-person training room, two interview rooms, two conference rooms, a fitness center, six offices, storage areas, locker rooms and detective work space.

Construction costs are on budget, according to both Tom Barden, overall project manager, and Williston Town Manager Rick McGuire.