WOBURN - The focus of the city of Woburn and its aging fire stations has taken center stage at City Hall these days with some healthy discussion over plans for a new fire headquarters at Forest Park off Main Street near the Route 128 rotary area, coupled with upgrades to three other stations, taking a priority.
In recent days, Mayor Scott Galvin has sat with representatives of DiNisco Design Architects + Planners, along Fire Chief Steve Adgate and members of the Fire Station Building Committee to come to terms with the next steps to be taken to upgrade the facilities of the Fire Department.
The gatherings have taken place as a feasibility study, which examined six scenarios for modernizing the public safety department, detailed a preferred scenario in which a new Forest Park headquarters would be constructed, while firehouses in the South End, East Woburn, and the West Side would undergo renovations.
The last component of that proposal would include the shuttering of Fire Stations 2 and 3.
Sitting at the mayor’s office in recent days was Rick Rice of the Boston-based DiNisco Design, as well as President Patrick J. Saitta of the Municipal Building Consultants, Inc. of North Andover - a person familiar with school construction in Woburn. Both agreed better coverage was also a guiding force, as well as modern facilities, “to do a better job for the city.”
The committee has considered a wide range of possibilities. As reported last week in The Daily Times Chronicle, a more expensive $47 million option would involve the construction of a Forest Park headquarters, as wells a new two-story substation by the Joyce Middle School off of Locust Street.
However, the focus now is a new central station at Forest Park and upgrades of three existing facilities at a total cost of $32 million.
“We are looking at a new station and three renovations/additions,” remarked Mayor Galvin, noting “we will have to get a Special Permit in the City Council as well as funding.”
“The focus is better coverage for all,” later said Adgate at the recent meeting in the mayor’s office.
The Fire Department’s Building Committee Report has come forward in recent days to unveil their Fire Department Facilities Upgrade.
Fire Chief Adgate as well as the architects/planners DiNisco have concluded the northeast section of the city, by the vicinity of the Woburn Mall/Commerce Way area, can be served by utilizing the new Forest Park station. The issue has been discussed and a review of plans shows only a tiny section at the far end of Commerce Way near the Wilmington line to be a small trouble spot.
A major portion of the plan is dedicated to a new Fire Department Headquarters off Main Street with central headquarters being built at Forest Park to be built at $25,365,000. The facility would have 36,325 square feet.
A show of the three renovations/additions by DiNisco Engineer number shows:
• Station 1 (South End) - $2.3 million
• Station 4 (East Woburn) $1,720,000)
• Station 5 (West Side) $1,830,000