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Selectmen, Building Committee Close to Fire Station Decision. . .3 sites analyzed in Detail

As Spring Town Meeting approaches on April 30, Selectmen and the Fire Station Building committee are preparing to make a recommendation for improving the town's Fire Fighting Building infrastructure. They continue to gather and evaluate information for three potential sites that meet the criteria for site viability. The three sites are: Station Avenue, Prescott School and a parcel of land contiguous to the Public Saftey Building owned by the Lawrence Homestead Trust.

Evaluations for Station Avenue and the Prescott School have been completed. Macguire Associates completed analysis of the Station Avenue Site. This was the same firm that did the engineering work for the Groton Electric Light Department location. However, a complete evaluation of the Station Avenue site cannot be finalized until the plans for building at the G.E.L.D. have been determined.

The Prescott School Reuse committee initially hired Joel Bardman Associates to do analysis of the site. Joel Bardman Associates then was hired to expand on their original work to include analysis of the site as a Fire station. This report is complete and ready for Selectmen's analysis and citizen review.

Now that analysis of Station Avenue and Prescott School locations are mostly complete, work is being done to locate and analyze information for the land contiguous to the Public Saftey Building - the so-called Lawrence Homestead Trust site.

The most recent meeting of the Fire Station Buidling Committee focused on initiating the work of Dore & Whittier to provide site evaluations and preliminary designs for the Lawrence Homestead Trust site. Various requirements and processes for gathering requirements and developing solutions were discussed. Also reviewed was a refinement of the Response Time Analysis that will be provided by Dore and Whittier under subcontract to consultant Travis Miller.

Initial site evaluations will begin with a site walk March 13 to review wetlands against GIS data and to dig a number of test pits to perform soil testing.

Dore and Whittier will meet with Fire Department personnel to discuss the process for gathering fire department needs to inform their building design.

The Committee agreed that establishing regularly scheduled planning meetings will help in accomplishing the goal of having a site recommendation available for Selectmen in time for Spring Town Meeting on April 30. Meetings will be held in the Town Hall twice weekly.

In addition a number of community meetings will be held specifically to inform the community of the status of the planning work with particular emphasis on reviewing the various sites and gathering site specific community input. Notification will be sent to abutters and a public notice will be posted in local papers. The first of these is scheduled for Wednesday March 21 at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.

The Committee will take a walk through of the Groton Police and EMS building Friday March 16 to get a look at its layout, ideas about what has and has not worked, and to understand design aspects of the building specifically as it will be so close to the new station if it is located at the Lawrence Homestead site.

Groton Herald

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