The Setauket Fire District will continue its series of community meetings about the future of the Main Street fire house starting with a meeting set for March 8 at 7 p.m. at its Hulse Road headquarters.
Representatives of various community groups – including the Civic Association of the Setaukets and Stony Brook, the South Setauket Park Civic Association, the Three Village Historical Society, the Circle of Friends, and others – will come together once again to carve a path for the future of the Main Street fire house.
That future could mean renovation of the existing fire house, constructing a completely new facility, or a combination of both, according to fire commissioner Thomas Gallagher.
The series of meetings began last spring, but was suspended while the fire district commissioned a formal usability study, conducted by Huntington Station-based arcitect Frank G. Relf.
"The purpose of this meeting is to get everyone reacquainted and give everyone a copy of the study," said Gallagher, who is leading the charge along with commissioner Rich Leute.
Gallagher said several work sessions with the community groups would be required before a formal solution can be developed.
According to a copy of the usability study obtained by Patch, which was completed in November, the Main Street fire house is not up to code in several areas and needs improvement in other areas to address safety, health, and handicap accessibility.
Specifically, the study cites "inadequate clearances around the vehicles and between the gear racks and trucks in the apparatus bays which does not comply" with Occupational Safety and Health Administration and National Fire Protection Association regulations. The architect's report recommended adding additions to the apparatus bay and renovate the existing bay to enlarge the space, at an estimated cost of $1.1 million.
Gallagher said the fire commissioners have not as a group spoken about the estimated costs contained in the report, which are broken down into three priority levels:
- Priority 1: Life safety/health, handicap accessibility, and code violation, which carried an estimated price tag of $1,658,500;
- Priority 2: Preventing further detioriation and damage to the building, which would cost an estimated $25,200;
- and Priority 3: Desirable updates as funds are made available, which would cost an estimated $279,100.
A district administrator said the usability study cost the district $12,000.
The fire district twice floated bonds for the construction of a new fire house on Main Street, one in 2005 and one in 2009, both of which failed.
The Setauket Fire District, which funds the Setauket Fire Department, covers about 28 square miles and serves Setauket, East Setauket, Old Field, sections of Stony Brook University and its hospital, and parts of Stony Brook, Lake Grove, Centereach, Port Jefferson, and Port Jefferson Station.