In a scant few weeks - and after more than two years working from makeshift quarters – both the Scarsdale Police and Fire Departments will move into the long-awaited, new public safety facility.
The began in June 2009 and was scheduled for completion in December 2010. Structural issues, asbestos, and pooled ground water due to an antiquated drainage system led to an 11-month delay.
“When we opened walls and ceilings we saw more deterioration than we thought would be there and had to correct these,” explained Paul Zaicek, Scarsdale's Director of Capital Projects. “We had to redesign some parts and also had to redesign the drain systems.”
“Both the police and fire departments have adapted very well,” Scarsdale Police Chief, John Brogan said. “The public works staff, the village staff and the community have been very helpful and supportive."
The remaining two percent of detail was included in a furniture delivery Monday and a punch-list. Zaicek estimates both departments will move into the facility in late September or early October.
The expansion adds about 9,000 square feet to the three-story, 17,000-square-foot building and a 110-foot tall radio monopole tower to allow for radio communication among emergency personnel.
In addition to facilities for female firefighters, there are new kitchens for police and firefighters. There are two-person occupancy rooms for police, an emergency operating center with voice and data lines, radio systems, work stations for large-scale operations or disasters, and audiovisual equipment.
“There is a three-station firing range with a state-of-the- art system, where officers can train in-house on a rifle, shotgun and pistol, and a disposal for lead,” Brogan said. “And our capability to train will be greater than 25 yards.”
While the Village awarded $9.3 million in construction contracts, unforeseen situations brought the project very close to $14.7 million initially. Money for the project came from bond issues, sale of village property, and capital surplus.
“We’re at $14,755,000, about 15 to 18 percent over the initial contracts, and that’s about normal for a project of this size,” Zaicek said.
The first and only renovation to the village’s nine-decade-old public safety building, constructed in 1923, was an addition in 1952.
“It (building) also contains space for modern rescue vehicles, which did not fit into our former facilities,” Scarsdale Mayor, Miriam Levitt Flisser said.
Neighborhood residents expressed concern to the Village Board about the facility's initial design.
“As a result, the position of the generator and communications tower was changed, the surface finishes were reworked, and mature trees were preserved by relocating them in the landscape,” Flisser said.
“This has been an ongoing need for a long time, and we’re all very excited about it,” said Scarsdale Fire Chief, Thomas Cain.