By Ray Carbone
SUTTON – Plans to build an $800,000 addition to the town’s North Road fire station have been put on hold, according to Cory Cochran, chief of the fire department.
Late last week, Cochran said that the board of selectmen has directed the fire department building committee to reach out to an architectural engineering firm to rework the group’s original specifications.
“We put them out for bids (from construction companies) in the spring, and ended up with three proposals,” the chief explained. “We noticed that our bid specs didn’t work, they weren’t detailed enough.”
Proposed construction costs ranged from $1.4-million to $700,000. “We rejected them because of inconsistencies, so it’s back to the drawing table,” the chief said.
During the summer, the selectmen decided to get an architectural-engineering firm involved, Cochran reported. The chief later held a building site visit with Kelly Gale of KLG Architecture of Webster to discuss reworking the architectural/engineering plans.
Cochran admitted that the delay could prove costly for the town and the department,
The status of the project was scheduled to be addressed at the selectmen’s meeting on Monday, September 10. Cochran admitted that the delay could prove costly for the town and the department,
One town official said it was likely that the addition project, which was overwhelmingly approved by voters at this year’s annual town meeting in March, will likely reappear on the 2019 town meeting warrant.
In public meetings leading up to this year’s meeting, Chief Cochran noted that the town has been considering an addition since 2006. The original building was erected in 1974 and has had limited improvements since that.
Right now, the building doesn’t comply with National Fire Protection Association Standards and doesn’t meet the department’s needs, Cochrane said.
The proposed 30-by-45 square-foot single story addition, which would be constructed on the Route 114 side of the building, would provide needed office space, room for gear storage, an equipment storage bay, an updated kitchen and updated restrooms, the chief explained last week.
“There will be a larger meeting-training room because we’ve outgrown the meeting room that we have now,” he said. “And the bathroom will be with showers, so they’re be more locker-room style.”
The new space will also provide sufficient room for the emergency operations center, according to the chief.
Cochrane said he hopes to have a clearer idea about how to move forward with the addition project some time this month.
This story originally appeared in the InterTown Record weekly newspaper, published in Sutton, New Hampshire, on Tuesday, September 11, 2018.