Public Safety Building Update: Certificate of Occupancy granted; Ceremony 9/9; Tours 10/26 (Updated – again)

by beth on August 14, 2019

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Above: Yesterday, the Public Safety Building received the certificate allowing occupancy. But don’t expect firefighters to make regular use of the pole just yet. The building won’t be ready for personnel to move in for a few more weeks. (images from July progress report.)

Yesterday was the deadline for the Public Safety Building’s “substantial completion”. The Town has confirmed that goal was reached.

The July progress report was recently released. It designated the project as 95% complete at the end of last month. The only issue of concern was whether the August 13th deadline would be met. Today’s update was that the threshold was met with the Certificate of Occupancy received.

That doesn’t mean that personnel have relocated. There is still a “punch list” of items that need to be completed inside, plus landscaping. To minimize disruption, the police and fire departments will wait to make their big moves in early September. There will be an announcement to the public when that happens.

Fire and Police memorial relocated to new site (photo by Beth Melo)The original press release on August 14th included that the departments would combine an Opening Ceremony with their annual honoring of the first responders who died on 9/11. (As you may recall, the Fire and Police memorial has been relocated to the new facility.)

An updated release separates the two events. The Opening Ceremony will take place on September 9th.*

The ceremony won’t include tours. Those will wait until the October 26th Open House.

Below is the press release with more details. But first, I want to address a concern that was raised to me about the facility. . . the driveways. Some of you may have wondered when driving by if the driveways have sharper turns than make sense for the big trucks. It turns out, that its a matter of perspective.

From the base of the drive, I questioned whether the driveways matched the approved plans. Being told they did, I went back and walked the driveways. On-site, I could see that the curves appeared much more navigable.

Below are my pictures and comparisons from two weeks ago. The first perspective was from across the street vs the plans. The second was from on-site:

Public Safety Building Driveway plans vs view from across the street Public Safety Building Driveway on site

Speaking of the driveways. . . The paving to connect the driveway to the Woodward School drive is in process. Public Works Superintendent Karen Galligan tells me it will be complete before the start of school.

Now here’s the Town’s press release: 

The Public Safety Building Committee is pleased to announce that the new Southborough Public Safety Facility located at 32 Cordaville Road received a temporary certificate of occupancy yesterday, August 13th, 2019. This will turn into a final certificate of occupancy once punch list items and landscaping are completed in the coming weeks. The Police, Fire, and Dispatch Departments will begin to transition their operations into the new building over the next few weeks with operations being fully transferred by the first week of September. Public notifications will occur when police and fire related business should be conducted at this new location.

“Today marks the first day that the Town of Southborough will take ownership of a building built to suit the needs of today’s first responders, as well as tomorrow’s. Our Committee is proud to have collaborated with so many professionals, town employees, and other Boards/Committees in the town to make this day become a reality,” quoted Jason Malinowski, Chair, Public Safety Building Committee.

“The building will be a model for any Public Safety Facility in the State”, said Police Chief Kenneth Paulhus. “The effort and attention to detail put forth by all involved should be recognized. I’m extremely happy for the Staff, especially the veteran officers who have worked their entire careers in the Peters School Annex. To be a part of the opening of the first Police Station constructed in the history of the Town is an exciting time. We look forward to moving our operations very shortly.”

“It has been a long time coming for the Town, and these Public Safety departments”, added Town Administrator Mark Purple. “We are fortunate to be the right people in the right place at the right time, but this accomplishment stands on the shoulders and efforts of many local officials and employees who have been trying to address this issue for many years. I think that we have given the Town a building that everyone can be proud of.”

In closing, Brian Shea, Chair of the Board of Selectmen, quoted, “On behalf of all who have served on the Board of Selectmen during the time that this facility has been planned and constructed, I want to thank all town Boards, Committees, Police and Fire Department members, and consultants who have played a role in making today a reality. Today’s achievement demonstrates our Town’s support and commitment to all of our public safety officers.”

The public is welcome to join a short opening ceremony on Wednesday September 11th at 7:30 AM by the Police/Fire Memorial at the new facility to jointly celebrate the opening of this new facility for our first responders while also honoring those first responders that made the ultimate sacrifice on September 11, 2001. No public tours or access to the facility will be available on this day.

The Building Committee in coordination with the Police and Fire Departments welcome the public for a Grand Opening celebration on Saturday October 26th from 10 AM to 2 PM, where public tours and other events will be planned. Specific events will be published closer to the event.

Updated (8/15/19 10:03 am): An updated release from August 15th replaced the 2nd to last paragraph above with this text:

The public is welcome to join a short opening ceremony on Monday September 9th at 7:30 AM by the Police/Fire Memorial at the new facility to jointly celebrate the opening of this new facility for our first responders. No public tours or access to the facility will be available on this day. The Police and Fire Departments will hold a private ceremony on September 11th to re-dedicate the memorial.

Updated (8/15/19 2:44 pm): I presumed that some residents reading about the facility would want to know how the budget is going. I could see in the progress report how construction costs were tracking. But more importantly, I wanted the update on the total project budget, including design and other costs. Chair Jason Malinowski of the PSB Committee responded:

As of our last meeting (and update to the BOS, as well), we remain in the range of returning approximately $3M on the approved $22.6M cost. This does not factor in the interest saved by not borrowing this extra $3M, as well. Obviously the land was also part of the warrant article but outside of our direct oversight.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 HonestAbespeaks@gmail.com August 14, 2019 at 1:36 PM

Bad decision to celebrate a grand opening of a building, on the same day our country experienced the blackest days in our recent history. Mixing the two events, of a ribbon cutting, and heinous extermination of thousdands of people, is not only wrong, but a sacrilege. Better think again on this very insensitive decision. Have your ribbon cutting on another day. Another, may I say poor decision by BOS, and anyone else who is a part of this.

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2 beth August 15, 2019 at 9:59 AM

The date of the ceremony has been moved to 9/9. The 9/11 ceremony will be separate.

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3 djd66 August 14, 2019 at 2:58 PM

Every time I drive by the new fire station I shake my head. I can’t believe they designed the driveways with the curbs in the middle. The will undoubtedly be an issue for trucks getting in/out of the driveway. (Think night time or when there is 6″ of snow on the ground)

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4 GreenMonster August 15, 2019 at 3:16 PM

I agree about the driveway. Not a very welcoming entrance for the fire trucks. Add to that snowfall and that curbing will be chewed up in no time . Seems like when your driving the trucks you would need to hit just right to drive in the entrance and navigate the curves and the curbs.

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