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A yearlong study by a Boston architect could recommend Lynnfield needs to build a single South Lynnfield building containing town police and fire services.
After soliciting requests for proposals last December, town officials selected DiGiorgio Associates Inc., to conduct the $35,000 study with the conclusions expected by next winter.
The Boston firm’s affiliation with parent company, The LiRo Group, gives it extensive experience and resources to study public safety needs in Lynnfield, said town engineer Charles Richter.
The study will examine the feasibility of upgrading aging town public safety facilities. The Police Department and Summer Street fire station are located in the building complex that includes Town Hall, and the Fire Department also had its South Lynnfield building.
Richter said the study will also examine pros and cons involved in building a combined fire and police facility, with the South Lynnfield site on Summer Street as a prospective location for a public-safety facility.
“It’s the logical choice. I don’t like the likelihood of finding another site,” Richter said.
Building a new public safety facility is ultimately a financial decision the Board of Selectmen will be charged with making after a review team including Town Administrator Robert Dolan, Richter, Public Works Director John Tomasz and the police and fire chiefs pores through DiGiorgio’s recommendations.
Richter said combined public-safety facilities are popular options for communities seeking to upgrade aging facilities. The facilities allow two departments to share a single building and they provide the space and technology required by 21st century police and fire departments.
Communications technology has outgrown space limitations in older buildings, said Richter, and fire departments require washing stations for equipment in order to wash potentially toxic chemicals from modern construction material off protective clothing and gear.
“The requirements for police and fire in every town are becoming more specialized,” said Richter. “Code requirements have changed over the years.”
If the architect recommends a combined facility in South Lynnfield and the town decides to build it, the Summer Street fire station would become an auxiliary facility.
Public-safety space needs is just one study underway in town. School and town officials are examining elementary space needs in the face of an enrollment surge and a proposed $21.4 million design for a new library is waiting for a state funding commitment equivalent to roughly half of the project’s cost.