New public safety complex proposed in Greenfield - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

New public safety complex proposed in Greenfield

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GREENFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

Town leaders in Greenfield were reviewing a preliminary study about a proposed public safety complex. It would house the police department, fire department, emergency dispatch center and emergency operations center. The study presented to the Public Safety Commission laid out a plan for a 44,000 square foot building, at a cost of about $16.5 million.

Gary Longley, chairman of the Public Safety Commission, said all of the emergency services departments had outgrown their current locations. He pointed out the police department was originally built as a doctors office.

Acting fire chief Robert Strahan said the building barely fits the equipment they have, and the floor would not be able to safely withstand more weight. He said some of his trucks were nearing the end of their useful life, and newer trucks are larger and weigh more.

The study looked at several possible locations around town for the complex, but many of them were no longer available. The only existing property that might be able to fit a building of that size was the firehouse on Main Street. Longley said the firehouse would not be a viable option at this point, because there would be nowhere for the fire equipment to operate out of, while construction was underway. Another potential problem was the loss of several municipal parking spots for the project.

Longley said the actual cost of the project would probably be lower than $16.5 million. The estimated price figured in buying property, and other possible unforeseen problems. The actual cost of the building would be closer to $14 million. The price was also dictated by construction materials and design. Because of its use, it would have to be able to withstand natural disasters better than conventional buildings.

The next step for the town was to develop a sight plan to get a better idea of a final cost.

Strahan said any building was still years away, and it might be a hard sell for voters who recently approved a new $66 million high school.

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