Voluntown fire hall renovations complete, grounds work continues
By Janice Steinhagen - Staff Writer
Voluntown - posted Mon., Jul. 29, 2013
Members of the Voluntown Fire Department are hoping to complete their ongoing renovation project to the building and its grounds in time to shelter diners at the annual September barbecue under a new pavilion. Supports for the pavilion are in place and excavation continues at the 205 Preston City Road firehouse, now that interior renovations to the fire hall are complete.
Voluntown Fire Chief Jody Grenier said that the project got underway in November with the interior of the fire hall, which was built in 1976. “It needed some upgrades,” he said. The project was funded by a bequest from an anonymous donor who lived in Griswold. Grenier said he was not at liberty to disclose either the donor’s name or the dollar amount of the gift. “They were very, very private people,” he said.
The worn, uneven hardwood floor in the meeting hall was replaced with a commercial-grade laminate, walls were repainted, the bathrooms were renovated and the kitchen was also improved. Media equipment, including a wide-screen television to allow PowerPoint presentations for training purposes, was also installed in the meeting hall.
Grenier said that a grant from Connecticut Light and Power helped fund a new exterior lighting system, and electrical upgrades were also completed. New security, involving state-of-the-art entry locks with a key punch pad, was installed. “Everybody has their own number, so we can track who goes in and out” and the time of entry and exit, he said.
On the building’s exterior, the grounds were landscaped with flower and shrub plantings. The current clearing and excavation in the rear of the building is designed to accommodate more parking, as well as a landing area for the Life Star helicopter. It will also house the future pavilion, which Grenier said would “put our picnic tables out of the winter elements.” He said that a local Boy Scout working toward his Eagle Scout rank is constructing 10 new picnic tables for the company.
Grenier said that the bequest also helped fund upgrades to some of the fire company’s equipment, including a new drop valve and reflective chevrons on the truck’s rear to improve nighttime visibility.