Design work for a proposed fire station at 139 The Great Road will begin over the next four to six weeks with community outreach and consultation with town departments.
Immediate plans were discussed on Monday as the Bedford Select Board approved a $1.42 million deal with Boston-based Kaestle Boos Associates for architectural services. The price tag is significantly less than the $2 million approved for fire station design by the 2022 Annual Town Meeting.
“We are ready to hit the ground running,” said Acting Town Manager Colleen Doyle, including seeking “community feedback.”
Brian DeFillipis, representing the owner’s project manager, PMA Associates, introduced Todd Costa, a principal of Kaestle Boos, and Sean Schmigle, an associate principal, who will be the primary contact. Costa said as many as 16 employees of the firm will be available to provide support for the project.
Emily Mitchell, the Select Board representative on the Fire Station Building Committee, said that the contract is “comprehensive,” covering design, procurement, and consulting during the construction phase. Costa said the firm will attend town meeting that votes on the construction bond to provide “technical support.”
She was pleased to see that the contract calls for multiple preliminary designs.
“We don’t know what this site is going to look like and we want options,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to getting started.”
Fire Chief David Grunes said, “Feeling the excitement from the town is very important to us. I think we are all excited to move forward.”
Kaestle Boos has specialized in public safety projects for more than 20 years, Costa said, including within historic districts. The site at 139 The Great Road is in the Bedford Center Historic District, and the fire station design will require approval by the Historic District Commission.
In answer to a question from board member Shawn Hanegan, Costa said the community outreach will be tailored to what best fits Bedford. The approaches can range from websites and social media use to in-person and virtual forums, displays in high-traffic areas, and presentations at other local events.
“We want to have open communication and identify concerns and how we can address them, so that involves everybody,” DeFillipis said, including municipal departments and the office of the town manager.
Hanegan also pointed out the town’s commitment to net zero greenhouse gas emissions. Costa said Kaestle Boos is experienced with that technology, noting the special challenges posed by public safety facilities that don’t have “down time.”