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Too soon to gauge EMS savings from new design


N. STONINGTON — A new design considered for the proposed emergency services building is expected to be more efficient and practical, but officials said that reports of its saving the town $2 million were exaggerated.

The new plan was presented by Silver/Petrucelli + Associates, an architectural and engineering designer based in Hamden, on Jan. 27. The plan was discussed by the Board of Selectmen on Jan. 28 and again this week.

“That number was put out there because the architect was saying they could remove this wall or remove this elevator,” Fire Chief Charles Steinhart V told the selectmen.

Giuseppe Cassata, assistant fire chief and vice chairman of the Emergency Management Services Building Committee, said the figure was quoted by Dean Petrucelli, vice president of the company, without knowing some of the specifics that were required.

Selectmen Robert L. Testa asked Steinhart and Cassata to clarify the reduced cost.

Steinhart said, “They put that presentation together without the building committee’s input. They took a conceptual drawing we had and basically moved things around. They haven’t sat down with our itemized room-by-room breakdown.”

First Selectman Nicholas Mullane said, “It is way too early to say we have a firm price. We need to arrange for a good life cycle of the building and arrange for the needs of the firefighters.”

According to Mullane, savings of $2 million would mean that the town would be more capable of meeting the budget for the building.

“Now we have a better ability to live within the budget we set and be able to supply the same square footage of garage and operating facility we intended in the first place,” he said.

The new design eliminated some walls and corridors from the initial proposal of years ago and would be only one story. That would save on construction costs and also save about $250,000 for an elevator. The square footage, however, would remain at 18,000 square feet.

The new design was preliminary, however, and will require the full approval of the building committee.

A figure of $6.36 million based upon the original design — now changed — was approved by the voters last July by nearly a 2 to 1 margin. As originally planned, the new station would be a two-story building located across the street from the current location at the Route 2 - Rocky Hollow Road intersection. The complex would also serve as home to the town’s ambulance service, located now currently on Mains Crossing.

Emergency officials are hoping construction will begin in 2015.

msouza@thewesterlysun.com



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