Reconstruction projects at East Providence Fire stations accelerate


EAST PROVIDENCE — After a few starts and stops due to some financial and architectural concerns, renovations at two East Providence Fire Department hubs are finally going full bore.

Additions of office and living space at EPFD Station 1 on Broadway and the near complete overhaul of Station 4 on Wampanoag Trail have both commenced and accelerated in recent weeks.

A crew from K.O. Steel Construction, based in North Scituate, put steel support beams into place earlier in the week on the North side of Station 1, the EPFD headquarters. The beams serve as the ceiling structure for the revamped administrative offices, including that of the chief, at the location as well as the base for an expanded second floor, which will now span the entire length of the building.

At Station 4, whose crew and equipment are taking up temporary housing on Amaral Street farther down the Trail during construction, nearly the entire structure is being remodeled. Wood framing is almost complete on the east (left), west (right) and north (rear) facing sides of the existing building.

As is the case at Station 1, the living quarters at the Wampanoag Trail locale are being upgraded. More importantly, a new, additional truck bay is being built along with expanded supply and work areas.

The renovations are part of a $6-plus million project being financed totally from federal funding. The work was originally supposed to begin late in 2012. Design delays pushed the work back, but it began in earnest earlier in this calendar year.

Acting EPFD Chief Oscar Elmasian recently told the City Council the delays were cause for some concern as the project would not meet what was initially a late-summer, early-fall completion date originally mandated by the federal government. Chief Elmasian said his department was already preparing to submit the proper paperwork asking for a short extension, which the feds are likely to accept. The project is now on schedule to be completed some time in mid to late fall 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.