The renovation of Station 2 was something that was anticipated and has been apart of the Capital Plan through its 7 year cycle. Originally built in 1976 on land donated by Fred Crowell, the station was first staffed by just one firefighter. As times changed and East Harwich grew, the need for the station has grown and so has the staffing. Currently there is a Lieutenant and 2 firefighters assigned to the station 24 hours a day. There are 2 engines and 2 ambulances located in the station as well as a staff vehicle that is used to respond to Headquarters as well as other minor emergencies.
In 2016 a work group was formed that has evolved into the present building committee. All aspects of the current fire department operation were evaluated during a needs assessment. Areas such as building code, health and safety, personnel concerns, gender concerns, and storage requirements were all looked at with an eye toward the present day operation and the future.
The original plan was to renovate the 42 year old building an add on the necessary space. Using the help of a consultant that has worked with the Town of Dennis, a conceptual design of approximately 10,000 square feet was developed. This concept was the basis for the request for plan and bid document money at last years town meeting. At the time, based on the information provided by the consultant, it was believed the cost of the project would be around the $ 4 million dollar number that was on the capital plan.
Once the architect was on board and actual current construction numbers were applied to the project, cost increased dramatically. In November of 2017, a presentation was made to the Board of Selectmen. At that time the renovation was at 11,531 square feet and at a cost of over 6.5 million dollars. There were several reductions as far as personnel lockers, Self contained breathing apparatus compressors, a basement storage area in this design. At the same meeting a second proposal for a 9,500 square foot new fire station was presented. This new design met all of the requirements from the original needs assessment at an estimated cost of 6 million dollars.
Two additional factors presented were that the construction business was booming, thus driving up construction costs, and that any plan going forward would be presented with firm bid numbers at Town Meeting. The additional advantages of the new construction were that there would be no need for relocation of the apparatus and personnel, an approximate $500,000 savings and that with new construction, there would be no “surprises” as may be found by renovating the existing building.
As was the goal from the beginning we have bid prices to go to Town Meeting with. The final project cost, including all owners costs and contingencies, is $6,750,000. The architect did calculate the construction cost of the renovation project based on the final numbers for Station 2 at 7,200,000. This number did not include the additional funds for relocation of apparatus and personnel that would be a minimum of $500,000.
Based on information received from the bidders and estimators, the increase was due to a variety of reasons including;
– A busy construction industry
– Increasing Fuel Costs
– Uncertainty over the proposed tariffs
– Scale/size of the project
– Delivery costs due to location