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The Cheshire Fire Station has roofing issues.

Cheshire Needs to Fix Fire Station Roof

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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CHESHIRE, Mass. — The town needs to find funds to correct structural issues in the Fire Station roof that caused a recent ceiling collapse.

Selectman Edmund St. John IV told the board last week that the fire station roof is in worse than anticipated condition and the town will likely have to expend nearly $95,000 to make necessary repairs.

"We have to repair that portion of the roof. It does not propose an immediate threat but long term it needs to be replaced," he said. "We have to figure something out because that is a lot of equipment plus it is a safety issue. If there is a call you can't come into a smashed truck."

The town hired Wooliver to make repairs to a portion of the roof over the kitchen area but extensive rote was found when the roof was removed. Work was stopped and the site covered.

Two weeks ago, a portion of the ceiling collapsed over the women's bathroom and over the chief's office.

"They exposed a significant amount of rot," St. John said. "After they found that they stopped the work and covered it and about two weeks ago there was partial ceiling collapse."

He said they immediately secured the spot, however, it is not a permanent fix

St. John, who serves as superintendent of building and grounds, said the repair of this small portion of the roof is estimated to cost $64,566. This, with the $24,000 the town originally allocated to make the repairs plus other smaller costs, brings the amount to approximately $95,000.

He was hesitant to make any repairs without surveying the rest of the roof.  

"So we have a lot of work to do in the next week or so to figure out more information about the roof and how we are going to do this," he said. "This is a lot of money for one section of the roof and we don't know the health of other portions of the roof."

The fire station has three roofs. The known structural damage was found in a portion of one of these roofs.

Fire Chief Thomas Francesconi added that there was a partial collapse over one of the engines that should also be addressed eventually.

The entire board recognized that funding will be an issue and Selectwoman Carol Francesconi asked that the town look into purchasing a prefabricated building if it would be cheaper than the roof repair.

Selectman Robert Ciskowski suggested possibly taking funds allocated to make repairs to the largely vacant Cheshire School.

Town Administrator Mark Webber said there is also stabilization funds or the town could borrow.

St. John said he would reach out to state Sen. Adam Hinds for aid.

Francesconi told the chief that he should not expect a repair in the coming days.

"Let's put it this way you are probably not going to get the roof fixed today or tomorrow," she said. "We have to put a lot of thought into this."

The fire chief said he was just happy no one got hurt and that an emergency medical technician just made it out of the bathroom before it collapsed.

Francesconi said the Fire Department roof has been an issue since it took ownership of the building.

"We have been repairing that roof since we owned it," she said. "It seems as though we have to repair it every year."

In other business, Highway Superintendent Blair Crane said he is having a hard time replacing the town's roller.

"I have been looking at quotes for a new one and I am in contact with five or six different companies and I am not having great luck," he said. "The price on all of those has gone up dramatically. I don't have a solution at this point I am still chasing it."

A few weeks ago, a vehicle ran into the parked loader. Both vehicles were totaled.

He said the town will collect more than what they purchased the roller, but the price tags are still too high.


Tags: fire station,   roof,   

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Hoosac Valley Considering Phased-In, Hybrid Model for Schools

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
CHESHIRE, Mass. — The Hoosac Valley Regional School District is expected to eliminate the full in-person education model from its plans for reopening.
 
Superintendent Aaron Dean said on Tuesday morning that the School Committee next week will decide what school will look like in the fall and that it is leaning toward a hybrid model.
 
"In next Monday's committee meeting, I am planning on sharing the timeline and framework of instruction for the coming school year," Dean said. "Still many questions to answer, but I'm confident we'll get there."
 
School districts throughout the commonwealth have been asked to design three education models in preparation for the next school year. Plans have included a fully remote plan, a hybrid plan, and the state preferred full in-person model that requires students to be spaced out.
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