Demolition for public safety complex starts next week

Demolition for public safety complex starts next week

The latest rendering shows how Cumberland’s new public safety complex will look.

CUMBERLAND – Demolition work to make way for a new public safety complex is set to begin next week, says Mayor Bill Murray, the first visible sign that a new police and rescue facility is coming to 1391 Diamond Hill Road.

The Town Council last week unanimously agreed to allow Murray to enter into a contract with Johnston-based AA Wrecking Co. & Asbestos Abatement Co. for the demolition of three residential structures, including a small home thought to have been built in 1850. Demolition will be done quickly to get the property ready for a groundbreaking in late October.

Construction bids will go out in September, and the project is set to be complete by late fall of 2018, according to the latest schedule from town officials.

Demolition of existing structures is “the kickoff of that project,” said Public Works Director Bob Anderson at last week’s meeting.

Resident Deborah Vine-Smith suggested that the council hold off on approving the demolition plan and look into other options for the home on the property. She said she often watches shows on the DIY Network and sees plenty of creative options on salvaging or restoring structures rather than demolishing them.

Murray countered that officials have had the demolition plans in place for three months, and an “11th hour” bid to keep the house “is no good.” Delaying the project will only cost the town money, he said. Representatives from Franklin Farm went through the house and took some items, he said. The town had offered to sell the house to the highest bidder in April, but there were no takers on moving the home off the property.

Murray last week revealed the latest rendering of the future John J. Partington Public Safety Building, a look he said everyone should be happy about.

Fences will go up around the entire property before AA Wrecking begins work to contain and remove asbestos and demolish the buildings.

The new voter-approved public safety complex will cost about $12.5 million, paid for through a 20-year bond. A 20,000-square-foot structure will be surrounded by about 100 parking spots on property covering about 2 acres across from the existing public safety complex.

Representatives for Kaestle-Boos Associates reviewed and approved the low bid from AA Wrecking, which came in at $74,350.

In a related move, the council authorized Murray to enter into an agreement with Fitzemeyer & Tocci Associates Inc. on a $21,427 contract to act as a commissioning agent in engineering the facility to meet standards of the U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification. The company will optimize building systems, including HVAC, fire protection equipment, interior plumbing, electrical and life safety systems to ensure that everything is functioning effectively and efficiently.

Also last week, the council agreed to allow Murray to sign an agreement with Martone Service Inc. for the $255,000 restoration of the historic farmhouse at Franklin Farm.

Historic Metcalf-Franklin Farm Preservation Association President Pam Thurlow said she and others are excited about the long-planned restoration of the farmhouse finally coming to fruition 11 years after the association was formed. The potential for the old farmhouse as a town museum and community resource is significant, she said.

Council members asked whether Martone Service can be trusted to complete the work up to expectations, and Town Planner Josh O’Neill said the company is highly respected for its work across Rhode Island, including the exterior rehabilitation of Slater Mill in Pawtucket.


Why don't the put the parking lot in the back?