East Providence Fire Department readies for impending renovations


EAST PROVIDENCE — East Providence Fire Chief Joseph Klucznik and his department are well on the way in preparing for upcoming renovations to two of their facilities, Station 1 on Broadway and Station 4 on Wampanoag Trail.

The projects, totaling over $6 million, will be done simultaneously in order for the city to make sure it gains all of the federal funding its due to receive as well as staying within the guidelines of procuring and using the money.

At its meeting Thursday, Sept. 20, the Budget Commission helped moved the projects along by approving the authorization of a Request for Qualifications, which allows the city to seek construction companies with the ability to perform the needed tasks. The Request for Proposal bid on the actual work is expected to be sent out sometime in mid-October. A construction firm will then be chosen and hired, which should take up most of the month of November.

The Station 1 project ($3,791,139) will be done in two parts. The first phase will see the reconstruction of the administrative offices and the addition of a second floor above them on the north side of the building. The second will see the rest of the building, including truck bays and living quarters, upgraded.

The Station 4 project ($2,615,576) is much more involved. The building is due for a complete interior/exterior overhaul and the partial addition of a second story, which makes the move to a temporary facility necessary. After studying various sites in recent months, the department has already chosen a location and it has been approved by all parties. Station 4's new home will be the former Verizon facility located further east on Wampanoag Trail on Amaral Street.

"We're trying to do the transition in phases. We're attempting to make these moves as painless as possible with as little disruption as possible," Chief Klucznik said.

As with the main part of the Station 4 project, making Amaral Street a suitable location is also a significant component of the transition. The building must have its technological capabilities (i.e. radio, phone lines) upgraded. Showers must also be installed as well driers for the firefighters equipment.

What the site does have is amply storage space, something that has been a long-standing problem throughout the department. Amaral Street will temporarily house administrative files and some other equipment.

"We're working with (the city's) Facilities and IT departments to help expedite the process," Chief Klucznik said.

Station 4 is expected to shutdown entirely by mid-October, according to the chief. Construction at both station houses will begin shortly thereafter or at the latest by early December. Again due to funding guidelines, all renovations/refurbishments must be completed by June of 2013.


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.