West Brattleboro Fire Station fit for construction


BRATTLEBORO — Plans for one of three police and fire facilities scheduled for upgrades were approved by the Development Review Board on Monday.

A new fire station in West Brattleboro will be constructed at 16 South Street adjacent to the existing building, said Ray Giolitto, of Northeast Collaborative Architects.

Officials hope construction will start in the middle of the summer and conclude by January. At about 4,415 square feet, the new station in West Brattleboro will have three apparatus bays instead of two. Living quarters will be set up in the back of the building.

Fire Chief Mike Bucossi told the Reformer the new building will be smaller but the footprint is bigger.

"That's because it's all on one floor," he said.

The project will address issues involving accessibility, mold and exhaust fumes.

With no elevator to access the living quarters on the second floor, the existing facility is not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Upgrades at both fire facilities and the police department's relocation to Black Mountain Road will focus on meeting ADA requirements.

The current West Brattleboro station is too small to install a proper exhaust-removal system, Bucossi said. And the bay doors are not big enough for modern fire equipment.

Lately, adjustments have been made to orders. A different style mirror may be needed so that a new apparatus will fit in the station.

"There's always a change we have to do when we order them," said Bucossi. "That costs us extra money to do that."

The plan, according to Giolitto, is not to replicate the West Brattleboro station but make sure it fits in with the other buildings in the Village Center District. A historic district review was required for the permit application.

"The district has different architectural styles," said Giolitto. "Cape Cod Gray is what we're proposing for the siding and trim."

Drainage from the roof will be tied into the existing stormwater mitigation system. Construction of a parking lot with six spaces is planned for the area where the existing station is, once demolition occurs.

Giolitto expects to seek approval for a 12-inch sign later on. Zoning Administrator Brian Bannon can take care of that.

The DRB approved the permit application with conditions requiring that curb and lighting details get approved by Bannon. The bike rack must be placed on the northwest side of the property. The board has 45 days to issue a written decision and a 30-day appeal period will follow after the document is signed.

"The town does not have special status," DRB Chairman James Valente noted at the beginning of the meeting, explaining that the application goes through the same process others do.

Contact Chris Mays at cmays@reformer.com or 802-254-2311, ext. 273.


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