Construction of Warwick fire station addition to resume in spring

  • The Warwick Fire Department has been using its own manpower of 12 members to build an addition onto the town’s fire station. Staff Photo/ZACK DeLUCA

  • The addition on the Warwick fire station will house a fully accessible bathroom, a communication room, a new office and a training room. Staff Photo/ZACK DeLUCA

  • Work will resume on the remainder of the Warwick fire station’s addition in the spring. Staff Photo/ZACK DeLUCA

Staff Writer
Published: 11/29/2019 11:37:41 AM

WARWICK — The Warwick Fire Department has been using its own manpower of 12 members to build an addition onto the town’s fire station.

While Fire Chief Ron Gates said most of the remainder of the project is on stand-by until spring, he hopes to install the metal roof before winter.

“Everything we need is already on the site,” he said.

Gates said the department has built walls for the structure and installed trusses and beams to create the framework. Once the weather warms up again, work will begin on the remainder of the project, including electrical and plumbing work, followed by installing insulation.

Warwick acquired its current fire station as a gift through the Warwick Firemen’s Association around four years ago. Warwick had to vote to procure the building during a Town Meeting, in accordance with state law.

Gates said money for construction was raised by the Warwick Firemen’s Association, a separate entity from the Warwick Fire Department.

“We started putting away for construction on the building nearly 15 years ago,” he said. “Once we had saved around $100,000, we began the construction.”

To date, Gates said the project has cost approximately $115,000. Town Coordinator David Young said Warwick may be able to use funding obtained through Green Communities grants to construct the addition, as well as for other required work in town.

“The project is being conducted step by step,” Young said.

After accepting the building, the town used its own resources to get the new building up to proper operating condition. The current structure is insulated and has a habitable garage for the department’s vehicles, Young said.

Because the building is now owned by the town, Young said there is interest in making sure additions and renovations make it a net zero building, with no energy expenses. The Building and Energy Committee is discussing ways to incorporate energy-conscious construction.

The new roof has a large surface for solar panels, which could help power town buildings. Further energy savings can be acquired by installing high-efficiency windows, to retain heat, or cool air in the summer. These windows, which can costs thousands of dollars, need to be installed after the roof is in place.

The need for an addition on the fire station became more necessary as the Fire Department expanded its vehicle fleet. Before the department had enough storage space for its vehicles, they were stored in different places — sometimes even in people’s driveways, Gates said.

The Fire Department upgraded and replaced vehicles, including a brush truck. It replaced a 1957 Dodge truck with Northfield’s old Pierce pumper/tanker, Gates said. The department is also working on repairing a 3,000-gallon tanker that was acquired through the state surplus. Gates estimated these repairs will be complete by spring.

The fire station addition will house a fully accessible bathroom, a communication room, a new office and a training room. Gates said having these new amenities will be a great improvement for the Warwick department.

Those wishing to donate to the Warwick Firemen’s Association can send contributions to 12 Athol Road, Warwick, MA, 01378.

Zack DeLuca can be reached at zdeluca@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 264.


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