Rochester public safety facility project looks to cut costs

Mar 14, 2023

ROCHESTER — The project to revamp and rebuild Rochester’s public safety buildings could see lowered costs from the use of a prefabricated structure, but Massachusetts building and energy codes could stand in the way. 

During a March 14 meeting of the Rochester Public Safety Facility Feasibility Study Committee, Ted Galante, who has been contracted by the town to study this project, suggested that a prefabricated building could be used as a blueprint for a proposed 22,000 square-foot fire station that could cost $18 million. 

“A prefabricated building will likely be less expensive but we haven’t gone in that direction yet,” said Galante. 

Galante noted that with a prefabricated building, the town would have to reinsulate the building, adding to the project’s cost.

Select Board member Bradford Morse suggested using a prefabricated structure for the proposed fire station’s vehicle storage bay, and fully insulating the rest of the structure.

However Galante explained that state building codes The entire project, which would include renovations to the town’s existing police station on Dexter Lane, the construction of a new fire station and a fire substation could cost as much as $37 million. 

According to Morse, this could be the town’s most expensive public works project ever.

“I want people to understand that this will cost a lot of money,” said Galante during a February meeting of the Committee. “And I will try every possible way to save money.”

According to Galante, if this project were to make it through Town Meeting, it would have to be completed in stages.  

He estimated that it would take about two years to design and build each building.

Going forward, Galante will meet with the Rochester fire and police chiefs to discuss the details of each building's design.