Firehouse plans revised, reviewed
WOODBRIDGE - Another schematic has been added to the three options being considered for the new fire station. With this latest addition, there are now four designs under deliberation. Although the newest plan, referred to as E Prime or E Revised, has not yet been endorsed by the fire station building committee, it will be evaluated along with the three other schematics as the town moves forward on this project.
After a BOS-appointed Siting Committee determined the best location for a new fire station was the Fitzgerald property, the BOS appointed a new fire station building committee in the spring of 2005. The committee was charged with the task of hiring an architect to develop three feasible designs for a new fire station. The specifications of the charge were to limit the size to roughly 20,000 square feet at a cost of $5.5 million.
The building committee contracted the architectural firm of Silver Petrucelli, who drew up schematics as directed. The committee, in a unanimous consensus, selected three designs; A, D and E. The committee subsequently presented these three choices to the BOS on Jan. 25, informing the BOS that the preferred proposal was schematic E. Dwight Rowland, vice-chairman of the committee said, "Essentially, we, as a committee, were satisfied."
At the following meeting of the building committee, however, Paul Antinozzi, an architect on the building committee, presented an additional design; a modification of design E. Antinozzi was motivated by the "intent of trying to have a building built in town that was economical as well as attractive."
"There were a number of issues raised at that (BOS) hearing that I thought were quite valid, like the roof line. This drawing … tried to address some of those issues," explained Antinozzi.
Antinozzi, who has been a member of the new fire station building committee since it was formed, surprised his committee members with his proposal. Joe Calistro, chairman of the committee, said, "This is something Mr. Antinozzi took upon himself."
Schematic E Revised has "all the advantages" of the previous E but with a few modifications. According to Antinozzi, the "circulation" or flow pattern is more amenable to the firefighters. All the equipment needed for the volunteers is grouped around the apparatus or truck bays, making the necessary gear accessible to the firefighters. Additionally, Antinozzi changed the apparatus bays so they are now no longer at an angle from the street, offering easier and safer truck movement. This modified design also allows for potential expansion on the second floor; the previous E could only accommodate expansion by installing a basement.
After presenting his ideas to the building committee, Antinozzi was invited to address the BOS on Feb. 22. He explained that the E plan, in general and his version in particular, was substantially less expensive and, in his opinion, much more attractive for this location. "It doesn't have to be expensive to be … very appropriate for the town."
Jim Sabshin, a BOS member, asked Antinozzi to outline the savings in the revised plan over the original E. Antinozzi responded that the structural issues were less complicated and had a less vigorous level of detail. "The whole intent is to design a building that will attract a lot of bidders that is within the capability of a lot of people to build it and by doing so, get a very good price."
He also added, "The budget that was suggested … should be your goal."
The prior three schematics presented to the BOS all projected costs above the $5.5 million called for. Antinozzi was certain the costs for the revised plan would be closer to the stipulated amount.
Louisa Cunningham, another building committee member and an architect, supported Antinozzi's plan. She pointed out that, along with bringing down the costs, the "less voluminous" design was "more appropriate to the scale of Woodbridge."
"Some of us feel it is more in keeping with the overall tone of the town itself."
Calistro and Rowland were more reserved in their comments. Rowland said the committee has not had time to evaluate the revised schematic fully. "Right now, we have not endorsed this scheme. Our committee has not voted that this is one of our choices."
Calistro reminded the town that all four schematics are posted at the library. In addition, a clip board is attached for residents to record their preferences.
At this juncture, the building committee is arranging a meeting with the following groups: Town Plan and Zoning, the Volunteer Fire Association, the Conservation Commission, CUPOP-Public Owned Properties Commission and the Land Trust. After gathering the input from these groups, the building committee will again meet with the BOS to discuss future plans.
For more information, visit the town website at www.woodbridgect.org.