20 Aug 2014
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New Police/Fire Station Discussed

Very preliminary estimates suggest the complex could cost $15 million.

The Permanent Building Committee held the first of a series of public information sessions on Monday night to discuss the town's need for updated public safety facilities.The fire station was built in 1960 and the police department was built in 1977.

Discussions are part of an overall long-range permanent building plan that would address town buildings in the North/Dale/Adams Streets area, including the town recreation center (at the Pfaff Center) and the Dale Street School (and the possibility of a new elementary school). 

"We're in the data collection mode where we're just trying to learn what the needs are," said Bill Hammer of HKT Architects, noting the current police and fire stations are "old, they're inadequate, and they're not serving the town very well."

Town Manager Mike Sullivan said, based on discussions he has had with the police chief and fire chief, and using conservative conservative cost estimates, "I'm using the number $15 million for total construction costs for the public safety building."

Audience member John Harney said he was concerned that, if Town Meeting was asked to act on this project as well as the new DPW Project that has been proposed, they could deny both projects.

“As much as some of us might want to see the [public safety] facilities upgraded and modernized to what a town of this size should have, we could lose it all,” said Harney. “We can’t do it all at once.”

The committee explained that discussions surrounding this project are part of an ongoing long-range plan. 

Highlights from the presentation by HKT Architects include:

Police Station -- Existing Conditions

  • Detainee entrance unsecured/dangerous
  • Detainees enter up a flight of stairs
  • No suicide deterrent grilles or benches
  • No sight/sound separation between male, female and juvenile detainees
  • No shower facilities for detainees
  • Booking area is undersized and dangerous
  • Movable furniture in booking could be used as a weapon
  • Evidence drop-off and evidence storage are remote causing a security/chain of custody issue (lockers are from an old Trailways station)
  • Evidence storage space is undersized
  • Dispatch unsecured from public lobby creating a safety issue and a confidentiality issue
  • Dispatch overcrowded
  • Inadequate squad room
  • Inadequate locker rooms
  • No shower facilities
  • Inadequate file storage space
  • Inadequate/overcrowded communications systems infrastructure
  • Exterior window and door frames are corroding
  • Water penetrates exterior walls in heavy rain or snow
  • Fireproofing material falling off steel
  • Fire Department apparatus (brush truck) stored in Police Department garage, vehicle exhausts into lunch/classroom and locker rooms
  • Brush truck custom built to exact dimensions to fit in confined space
  • Inadequate garage ventilation

Fire Station – Existing Conditions

  • Apparatus garage used as primary storage and workspace for multiple functions due to lack of adequate space
  • Dangerous conditions dressing in confined space between vehicles moving out of station
  • Potential contaminants from garage spread to clean systems (turnout gear, oxygen, etc.)
  • Dispatch unsecured from public, confidentiality issue
  • No separate dorm rooms, toilet/shower rooms or locker rooms for male and female staff
  • Inadequate office space (fire chief’s office is former restroom)Inadequate storage space

Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing Systems – Existing Conditions

  • Utility sink drains across open floor to remote drain open sewer waste (police)
  • Sanitary drain lines need to be replaced (fire)
  • No source capture exhaust in vehicle bays and garage (fire and police)
  • Possible leaks in oil tank (to be determined)

Liabilities for the Town of Medfield

  • Police department Detention Facilities Citations from the Department of Public Health
  • Multiple opportunities for detainee injuries while in custody
  • Cost of additional supervision required due to safety concerns
  • Potential for evidence contamination due to lack of proper storage
  • Fire Department Apparatus Bays Risk of personal injury to firefighters working and changing between apparatus as vehicles moving in and out of confined space
  • Emergency response times delayed due to suiting up in cramped area

Health Issues

  • Inadequate vehicle exhaust systems in Fire department apparatus bays and Police Department garage
  • Open drainage issue and deteriorating sanitary systems
  • Excessive Operating Costs
  • Custom-built vehicles must be purchased to fit in garage spaces
  • Heating system not up to current efficiency standards
  • Lack of insulation and inefficient windows contribute to high heating costs


  1. Partial renovation and addition to police/fire station on current building site
  2. New police/fire station on current site
  3. New police/fire station and recreation center on current site
  4. Repurpose Dale Street School for police/fire station and recreation center
  5. New police/fire station on current site and repurpose Dale Street School for recreation center and town offices

After the 90-minute presentation, Police Chief Bob Meaney Jr. and Fire Chief Bill Kingsbury took residents on a tour of the outdated facilities (see photos and video).   

For more information, including a full copy of the presentation, visit http://medfieldpbc.org

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