At May 2018 Town Meeting, Fire Chief Andrew Murray presented the need to replace our aging Mattapoisett Fire Department (MFD) building with a modern facility to accommodate our equipment, provide office and training spaces, and address the critical health and safety code violations to protect our first responders.
Ten years after bringing this to the Selectmen and Town Manager, the Capital Planning Committee moved this project to the top of their list and in 2018 the Finance Committee and Selectmen recommended that urgent action be taken.
Town meeting appropriated $260,000 for planning and hiring an Architect, and Owner’s Project Manager (OPM) to develop scope and plans for a building to be located on Town land adjacent to the Police Station, and to solicit bids on the project during 2019.
On September 17 the Board of Selectmen officially appointed members of the Mattapoisett Fire Station Building Committee composed of residents with knowledge of municipal building construction. Mike Hickey is a retired Professional Engineer; Jordan Collyer is a 4 term Selectman, a 20 year member/Captain in the MFD, and is a fire insurance loss control expert; Bill Cantor was owner of an architectural metal fabrication/erecting business; Fire Chief Andrew Murray; and Town Manager Mike Gagne.
The Committee researched the needs for the MFD, and oversees the design, bidding, and construction management of this public safety facility. Nine recent Fire Stations in Carver, Chelmsford, Franklin, Harwich, Littleton, Oak Bluffs, Paxton, Uxbridge, and Westford were visited to learn about features and designs that function, some that don’t work, and the lifecycle costs to maintain.
The Committee advertised for an OPM which brought in eight submittals, of which three were interviewed and Vertex Company was selected as OPM to manage the scope, bidding, and cost estimating through concept drawings. Seven architectural design firms submitted, four were interviewed, multiple references were checked, and Context Architecture selected. Vertex and Context Architecture were both selected for their experience with Fire Stations and responsiveness to Mattapoisett’s needs.
The Committee contracted with a local Engineering and Surveying firm to provide an accurate existing conditions survey plan of the land which will assist the Design Team in designing, siting, and more accurately assist the cost estimators for the project.
The Committee is currently working on space requirements, equipment needs, infrastructure, and is expecting preliminary schematic drawings during February.