EAST PROVIDENCE — Quietly a concern among administrators and politicians recently, the city and the East Providence Fire Department received some good news last week when the federal government, spurred on by the office of U.S. Senator Jack Reed, granted an extension to the renovation projects currently still engaged at Stations 1 and 4.
Work at the two locations, the near total reconstruction of Station 4 on Wampanoag Trail and the significant upgrades/additions being done to the EPFD headquarters at Station 1 on Broadway, had fallen behind slightly and was likely to miss mandated deadlines for use Federal “Stimulus” (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) funds. Contractors were in a position of not being paid in a timely manner and were threatening to shutdown construction.
The decision last week to give the city and the fire department a six-month extension to complete the project and access federal dollars to pay for it was greeted appreciatively locally.
“It’s great news,” City Manager Peter Graczykowski said. “We did receive a six-month extension to finish the work.”
The total cost of the renovation projects is north of $6 million. The extension gives the city access to the roughly $2 million it needs to pay for its conclusion. If the added time had not been granted, East Providence would have likely been on the hook for the latter amount in order to see the projects to their end.
“I’m just awaiting written verification, but I got the word last Friday night (Sept. 27). And then I personally thanked Sen. Reed in Washington, D.C. Saturday,” said EPFD Chief Oscar Elmasian. “I thanked him for all his work on this matter because we’re very lucky to get this extension.”
As it stands right now, work on Station 1 continues to lag behind that at Station 4. According to the construction update provided to the City Council Tuesday, Oct. 1, recent completed work at Station 1 includes the following: Structural steel installation at new roof; New roof corrugated decking installation; Masonry at stair tower and elevator installation at new second floor; New masonry walls for restroom and gear wash room; Underground storage tank removal; Roofing installation on phase one portion of the building.; New second floor exterior wall framing; New second floor interior wall framing; New first floor interior wall framing; Installation of new stairs in the administration wing; Leveling floor slab in new kitchen area; Generator pad installation; Structural reinforcing to support leveling slab; Window installation at second floor; Structural floor installation at new building to old building transition; and Sheathing installation at new second floor exterior walls.
Work remaining includes: Miscellaneous plumbing being performed throughout entire building; New brick masonry at second floor exterior walls is 90% complete; Duct work installation in phase one is 75% complete; Low voltage preparation in phase one is 75% complete; Fire alarm installation in phase one is 75% complete; Exterior wall insulation is complete at new second floor; Drywall installation is underway; Pipe insulation installation is underway; New fire sprinkler installation is underway; Miscellaneous demo in phase two is underway; and Repair bay overhead door widening and structural alteration is underway
In addition, the cause of flooding in the basement has been determined. The repair cost being developed by the general contractor. Also contaminated soils remediation is ongoing with state Department of Environmental Protection.
The work at Station 4 is almost entirely completed with an expected end date still some time in October. The update of finished work included: Building shell construction; Roof structure; Brick work at exterior; Window installation; Interior partition framing; New topping layer over existing plank floor; Rough electrical work; Exterior weather barrier installation; New concrete at new patio area; Installation of new exterior overhead doors; Concrete floor polishing; Building insulation; Exterior entrance canopy framing and suspension; Low voltage wiring; and Main entrance glass door and sidelights installation.
Also of note, Rough plumbing is 90% complete; Roofing, Exterior siding and Fire Sprinklers are 95% complete. Drywall installation is underway and approximately 70% complete; and mechanical installation is underway.
More department notes
The EPFD sent a site plan review for the Planning Department have been conducted for the proposed Wampanoag Meadows.
The department has purchased a used rescue vehicle, which will be used as a reserve vehicle until such time as we can replace the front line vehicles.
EPFD personnel has attended School Safety tours with members of the School Department.
A date for the promotion ceremony for Chief Elmasian and several other members of the EPFD has been set for Thursday, Oct. 17, at Martin Middle School at 5:30 p.m. The public is welcome to attend.
The dates have been set for the EPFD recruitment period, during which time 12 new prospects will the chosen.
The dates are as follows: Written Test, Nov. 16; Ladder and Swim Test, Nov. 23; Oral Interviews, Dec. 9 to 13; Physicals and Drug Test, Dec. 16 to 18; and Psychological Exam, Dec. 19. The in-house Fire Academy, conducted by the EPFD itself, has set a tentative start date of Jan. 13, 2014.