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Hudson making progress on new fire station

Union Leader Correspondent

December 08. 2017 8:14PM
Hudson Fire Chief Rob Buxton, left, speaks with site supervisor Tony Page during a Friday visit to the department's newest station on Lowell Road. The $2.9 million project has a July 2018 completion date. (CHRIS GAROFOLO/UNION LEADER CORRESPONDENT)

HUDSON — The town’s new fire station is about a quarter complete and set to open on schedule next July.

Fire Chief Rob Buxton said the foundation and bearing walls have been poured, alleviating “frost concerns.”

Framing should begin Monday, Buxton said.

“Right now, we’re on schedule for July — that was the contracted date,” he said. “Everything is moving forward as we expected at this point.”

The fire station is being built on town-owned land at 204 Lowell Rd. and is expected to cost $2.9 million, which includes design as well as construction.

The new station will provide a more livable environment for six full-time firefighters staffing it, said Buxton.

The new station features an EMS supply room, administrative offices, a decontamination area and gear storage room, an exercise room and four fire engine bays. An extended parking lot and turning area will allow large vehicles to maneuver without blocking traffic.

The most critical improvement is less apparent. The new station is expected to reduce response time to the town’s busy commercial district along Lowell Road and neighborhoods further south along the Massachusetts border.

“When we did the survey regarding emergency response, I believe we came up with 300 households that would actually receive better service from this location,” Buxton said.

Work began Oct. 17 as trees were cleared from the property. Within a month a gravel base had been laid for the foundation, which was completed in time for a Nov. 13 groundbreaking. Scaffolding was erected around Thanksgiving for masons to build walls between the apparatus bay and living quarters.

Tony Page, site supervisor for Boston-based general contractor Structure Tone, said the outer shell should finished by the end of January.

It’s been a years-long journey for the Hudson Fire Department. Voters rejected the new station in 2015 and 2016, finally passing it last March.

Winning approval didn’t require alterations to the blueprint, just the financing. Instead of issuing a municipal bond, the town paid for it with $800,000 from taxpayers and $2.1 million from the “unassigned” fund balance.

“It’s a very exciting time for the organization,” Buxton said. “This will be a huge upgrade for the community, a huge upgrade for our employees.”

The Lowell Road facility replaces an aging fire station on Burns Hill Road. There are two other fire stations in Hudson, one on Robinson Road and the Leonard A. Smith Central Station, located next to the town offices, which recently underwent a massive renovation.

A conceptual design of the new Hudson Fire Department station on Lowell Road, currently under construction. The site is expected to open by July 2018. (COURTESY)

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