Bernardston Fire Station Building Committee approves architectural plans

  • This lot at 12 Church St. in Bernardston, pictured in October, following demolition of the house there, is the future site of the Fire Station addition. The current Fire Station can be seen in the background. Staff File Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 12/22/2021 3:24:54 PM
Modified: 12/22/2021 3:24:40 PM

BERNARDSTON — The Fire Station Building Committee has approved the interior floor plans for the Fire Station expansion project.

The plans presented by Architect Brian DeVriese of Jablonski DeVriese Architects on Tuesday evening included minor changes from the last review, in particular widening the connector hallway between the existing Fire Station and the addition.

“We also need to remove a sill … when you walk into the building,” DeVriese said. “That has to remain level.”

With the Fire Station Building Committee’s approval on Tuesday, Project Manager Anthony DiLuzio said the project is ready for the “design development” phase.

“By approving tonight, there will still be tweaks,” he said. “But we’re locking down major shapes and sizes.”

Assistant Fire Chief Lloyd Grover said he will share the updated designs with the department, but in large part he felt the presentation “answered a lot of our questions.”

The next major milestone, DeLuzio said, will come on Jan. 28, at which time they will present a design development package, “which should be a much more robust” package of drawings. At that point, a more accurate cost estimate should be available.

As of the meeting Tuesday evening, the committee was awaiting confirmation from the Board of Health that the expansion wouldn’t add pressure to the septic system. DeVriese noted the station isn’t necessarily getting bigger, but rather everything is being put under two roofs.

In April 2020, the town obtained the 12 Church St. lot neighboring the current station to house an addition. In May 2021, town voters approved borrowing up to $3 million for the expansion project. Support for the project was secured in the May 10 election, when a 133 to 68 vote approved a debt exclusion to pay for the bond needed to construct the Fire Station addition.

Selectboard members are also continuing to seek assistance from state legislators for financial help for the overall costs of the Fire Station expansion. A petition that began in August asking the governor’s office to release $1 million that had been earmarked, but never guaranteed, for the Fire Station in a 2018 bond bill had collected more than 400 signatures by September’s Special Town Meeting.

The Fire Station Building Committee’s next meeting is scheduled for Jan. 11.

Reporter Mary Byrne can be reached at or 413-930-4429. Twitter: @MaryEByrne


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