Middlebury OKs study of fire station space needs

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury selectboard last Tuesday unanimously OK’d a $9,720 contract with Bread Loaf Corp. to help the fire department size up its space needs and determine whether its best option is to plan for on-site expansion or a new headquarters.
The Middlebury Volunteer Fire Department maintains two stations — a primary facility on Seymour Street and a branch station in East Middlebury. The Seymour Street station can barely contain current fire apparatus and will be unable to accommodate the next generation of vehicles.
Meanwhile, the East Middlebury branch station is a former service station that has cracked roof shingles, rotting window sills and roof soffits, a deteriorating foundation base, and a multi-graded concrete floor with no drainage, requiring equipment to be washed outdoors.
A municipal fire station study committee recently solicited proposals from several companies interested in performing a feasibility study of the department’s present and future facility needs. The committee recommended the Bread Loaf Corp. proposal as the best option. The company’s final report, due before the end of the year, will include:
• Examining the department’s program/facility needs for the next 25-30 years.
• Analysis of the current two stations, including structural integrity, electrical and plumbing systems, building code compliance and on-site expansion capabilities.
• Estimating the costs of demolishing the East Middlebury station, expanding the Seymour street headquarters and building a new station on Route 7 South.
Selectboard members said they are pleased the study will be completed in time to present findings at the March town meeting.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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