Committee OKs Greenfield fire station’s revised conceptual design

  • The Greenfield Fire Station Building Committee approved this design for the new station on Main Street near Coombs Avenue. SCREENSHOT

  • The schematic design that was first presented to the Greenfield Fire Station Building Committee, which has since been revised significantly. Screenshot

Staff Writer
Published: 11/22/2021 4:35:56 PM
Modified: 11/22/2021 4:35:42 PM

GREENFIELD — Following significant revisions, the Fire Station Building Committee voted unanimously to approve the conceptual design of the new fire station, slated to be built on Main Street near Coombs Avenue.

The overall exterior appearance changed considerably from the design first presented to the committee, including the orientation of the main entrance to now have access to Main Street.

“The shape has changed in a very big way from the previous iterations, and that was a very big thing for the committee to see,” architect Katrina N. Pacheco with Pacheco Ross Architects told the Fire Station Building Committee last week.

Pacheco said the firm hoped to receive approval from the committee for the floor plan, the change to the front entrance, and the general concept of configuration at the front of the building.

“It is critical that this info can get to the estimator as soon as possible so we can hit our deadline of trying to go out to bid in April,” Pacheco said. “This is an important step … to make sure we’re on track.”

Committee members asked about the cupola, which was located outdoors — rather than inside the museum — near the 9/11 memorial.

“Its size precludes it from being in the new structure,” Pacheco said. “To hand over that much building space to a museum piece would not serve the purposes of the Fire Department. All of the space we have pushed and pulled and cajoled into working the right way for the chief requires that being outside.”

She added later, in response to committee member Jean Wall’s question, that the cupola would be an additional structural weight that doesn’t necessarily fit with the style of the building.

“There’s a lot of time to work on various pieces of it,” commented committee member Butch Hawkins. “But the important part is we come together on the conceptual design.”

Following a unanimous vote on the conceptual design, Pacheco said the plans will be sent as a package to the estimator, with a response expected in about two weeks. A meeting will be scheduled to discuss the estimate.

Dennis Ross, also of Pacheco Ross Architects, told the Fire Station Building Committee he feels it’s “prudent” to have a Plan B in place.

“The construction marketplace is all over the place, and it’s trending high,” he said. “I have been looking at some items on the building and on the site for my Plan B. As far as I’m concerned at this point in time, the only things I’m interested in are things that are $50,000 and above.”

He would also like to see a Plan C, he said — and that would include the mayor’s efforts to find additional funding sources.

“To keep everything intact and not go into my Plan B, I’d like to see if there’s money available and what it would take and how long it would take, if we truly need it,” Ross said, referencing the federal infrastructure bill recently signed into law that is expected to bring $12.5 billion to Massachusetts.

Fire Chief Robert Strahan, however, said all references to fire and police stations had been removed from the bill.

“The bright spot there,” Mayor Roxann Wedegartner said, “is our State Auditor Suzanne Bump has presented a report to the state Legislature — the Senate and the House — recommending that a funding stream be set up at the state level for public safety buildings, similar to what they do for the Massachusetts library buildings.”

Wedegartner also said she has committed $500,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding for the Emergency Operations Center that will operate out of the fire station, moving there from the John Zon Community Center. The city has about $5.1 million in ARPA funds to allocate.

Additionally, Strahan added that his department is “actively pursuing grants.”

“We are actively pursuing firefighter grants for the larger equipment,” Strahan said. “This next round we will be going for the SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus) filling station to alleviate the cost of the larger ticket items.”

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




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