The support from the community and all those involved during this process was what made the Public Safety Building project a huge success. All three departments have now moved into the new building, and have settled in nicely. The next phase of the project, the Town Garage renovation, is now in the planning phase. Below is the statement made by Lee Gustafson at the Public Safety Building Open House on September 26, 2021:
We come here today to celebrate the grand opening of this building, for which countless hours have been spent to complete the structure. This building, which is not without its controversies, is immediately recognizable as the home of our emergency services equipment and personnel, those brave men and women who are ready at a moment’s notice to issue forth to serve and protect our community.
This building has been over a decade in design, but only a few short months in construction. This building serves as a source of focal point of pride in our community, a beacon that is unique in Chester, that is part of our town’s commitment to serve and protect our citizens, to provide a place of refuge for those who are seeking shelter or help. We hope that it will serve as a place to gather, to celebrate important events in our community, and a place to embrace one another in a spirit of cooperation as we invest ourselves in our town and its future.
I would like to thank the following, in no particular order:
- Russell Construction, especially Craig Jennings, Ed Poro, and the various subcontractors that made this building a reality. There are numerous trades that are represented in this group, all of which performed with professionalism and cooperation as they worked countless hours to make this structure what it is today. If you want to see the craft of experts, I invite you to take a tour of the building and look at the electrical conduit, the plumbing, the masonry, the drywall and paint, the metal frame, all aspects of the material construction of the building and the façade, and note the care and pride with which each step was completed.
- Centerline Architects, especially Kevin Racek, who worked with multiple teams to provide the design and details of the building and surrounding space over a ten-year timeline.
- Terrigenous Landscaping, especially Scott Wunderle, for guidance and assistance with making the grounds around the building appealing and low maintenance.
- The Chester emergency services personnel, including ambulance (Danny Cook, Amanda Silva), fire (Matt Wilson), and police (Rick Cloud). The town highway crew for moving near-countless yards of material on which the new structure sits. The select board, for listening, making suggestions, and participating in the discussions regarding the purpose and design of the building.
- And last, but certainly not least, our town manager, Julie Hance, and previous town manager David Pisha, for their work in making this building a reality. I know both of them put in many hours, especially Julie over the past several months, dealing with thousands of questions, working through countless little details, and looking for ways to stay within the budget during a global pandemic that caused uncertainty at every turn.
I also want to thank you, the people of Chester, who have given valuable input, time, resources, and support for this building. We look forward to serving you, our neighbors, from this location for many years to come.