The new Point of Pines Fire Station isn’t the only new municipal building that looks like it could be ready for business in 2023. Construction of a new 40,000-square-foot Department of Public Works (DPW) building replacing the current facility on Charger Road is also moving closer to becoming a reality. Last Monday night, the City Council opened a public hearing on a special permit for the building. The proposal will go before the council’s Zoning Subcommittee before coming back to the council for a final vote for approval.
The new building will be almost twice the size of what the DPW currently has, according to project engineer David Kelley of Meridian Associates in Beverly. “The larger building will allow them to store a lot more equipment inside the building and keep the site a lot cleaner,” said Kelley. “You won’t have as much debris sitting around outside.”
The site will be paved, and there will be a new stormwater system that meets environmental guidelines, Kelley said.
Although the new building will be larger, it will basically be in the same spot as the existing building. There will also be a new salt shed and several new permanent concrete bins in the rear of the building. “This new building will also allow for better office space and there will be training rooms and rooms to maintain equipment,” said Kelley.
Several councillors said they are happy to see the long-awaited new building closer to becoming a reality.
“This is a long time coming,” said Ward 6 Councillor Richard Serino. “I was a teenager working at the DPW during the summers in high school over 10 years ago, and the DPW facility then needed to be rebuilt.” Serino said he was interested in finding out from the city administration if the new facility will be able to accommodate repairs to fire and public works vehicles.
Councillor-at-Large George Rotondo asked if there was an estimate of when construction would begin on the building and what the cost would be.
Owner’s project manager Simon Tempest said the goal is to have the project go out to bid in December or January. “We are allowing 18 months to build, but we think it can probably be done in 12,” said Tempest. “With the supply chain issues, we want to give a comfortable window for the contractor to be able to complete it.”
Tempest said they are working on the final cost estimate for the project, but he did say it would likely be more than $20 million.
“This is a long time coming, and I believe I put in the first motion that we start working on this seven years ago,” said Ward 2 Councillor Ira Novoselsky. “I feel proud that we’ve gotten to this point and look forward to hearing more about it in subcommittee.”