BRATTLEBORO—On time and under budget are words every town wants to hear during a big construction project.
The Police & Fire Facility Building Committee not only heard those words on Feb. 1, they saw the proof, as they held their meeting inside the new and nearly completed West Brattleboro Fire Station on South Street.
Ground was broken for the new station — part of $14 million of upgrades and replacements for the town’s now-obsolete public-safety buildings — back in August. Six months later, it is nearly ready for use.
Project manager Steve Horton told the committee that the new station will be getting its inspection for its certificate of occupancy on Feb. 17, and the building will then be formally turned over to the town and the fire department to outfit for use as an active firehouse.
“Things have come together very well,” Horton said, adding that the station should be ready to go by early March.
Town officials say the final construction cost of the West Brattleboro station is expected to be about $100,000 under budget.
Horton said similar savings are being realized as work continues on the expansion of the Central Fire Station on Elliot Street.
Erection of the steel framing of the addition will begin shortly, and with little frost in the ground due to a mostly mild winter, he said contractors have been able to get work done ahead of schedule.
As for the police department’s new home at the Brattleboro Reformer building on Black Mountain Road, Horton said work on the space that the Reformer will be renting from the town for its newsroom should be complete by March 1.
Once that is done, Horton said work will shift toward retrofitting the rest of the building for use as a police station.
Overall, Horton said the approach for all three projects “has been to be conservative and not overspend.” That has resulted in significant savings.
Committee members got a quick tour of the West Brattleboro Station at the Feb. 1 meeting. It has a three-bay garage large enough to accommodate two fire engines and a ladder truck.
“It’s a simple design,” Horton said.