Committee considers renting office space for Greenfield’s temporary fire station

  • The Fire Station Building Committee is considering the use of space at 13 Prospect St. in Greenfield for administrative offices for the temporary fire station. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • The Fire Station Building Committee is considering the use of space at 13 Prospect St. in Greenfield for administrative offices for the temporary fire station, located next door in the Hope Street parking lot. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 9/9/2021 7:05:57 PM

GREENFIELD — The Fire Station Building Committee is considering the use of space at 13 Prospect St. for administrative offices for the temporary fire station.

Earlier this week, the Temporary Fire Station Building Committee — a subcommittee of the Fire Station Building Committee — sent a favorable recommendation to the full committee for the authorization of up to $24,500 for the cost of improvements to the basement level of the building next door to the temporary fire station in the Hope Street municipal parking lot.

The full Fire Station Building Committee was expected to meet Wednesday to discuss and vote on the authorization, but due to technical difficulties, the discussion was rescheduled for a meeting on Monday at 4 p.m. via Webex.

Reading the request from Fire Chief Robert Strahan, committee member David Moscaritolo said the current layout would be “problematic” for the day staff and the shifts to work in the space provided in the temporary buildings.

“We would have as many as nine workstations at a time, working out of only four offices,” Moscaritolo read of Strahan’s request at the Temporary Fire Station Building Committee meeting on Tuesday. “The office walls in the trailer offer no privacy for me when dealing with firefighters or the general public. This move would dramatically improve the morale of all employees at the temporary fire station.”

The money requested would cover the cost of design improvements, exterior door replacement and other minor interior work at 13 Prospect St., including removing a partition wall.

“It basically adds three to four office spaces, plus a break room for office staff,” Strahan told the committee.

He explained that on paper, the design of the temporary fire station doesn’t provide a feel for the actual space available.

“The space that we designed will meet the needs of the fire station, however, at a cost,” Strahan said. “It is cramped by trying to fit everything we want to fit into the temporary station. So we were looking for alternatives.”

Rent and utilities will be at no cost after improvements, according to Strahan’s request. The space, which has been vacant for a while, Strahan noted, is managed by the state.

Moscaritolo said he also felt the additional space was important for the fire station employees.

“When touring the temporary fire station, I felt there was concerns with the public entering and exiting the building. There’s going to be a lot of traffic,” he said. “There’s going to be a lot of business going on with the firemen.”

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.

Committee member Jean Wall, who is also a member of the Library Building Committee, said the community is “eternally grateful” for firefighters moving into the temporary fire station.

“Anything that can be done to make it better for you, I support 100%,” she said.

Strahan said he appreciated her comment, and that his department has been working “nonstop” to accommodate the move.

“I would not come before this committee to spend one more dime on this project unless it was absolutely necessary,” Strahan said.

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


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