17 March, 1989
Architect chosen for new firehouse
By Wendy Plump
A committee of Princeton officials has chosen a Nassau Street – architectural firm to design the firehouse that will become home to Engine Company No. 3 and its 38 firefighters.
The firm, Fulmer and Wolfe, was given the nod about two weeks ago by eight township, borough and fire officials. Originally, the joint committee reviewed a staggering 28 design proposals before zeroing in on the local firm, according to borough Administrator Mark Gordon.
Officials anticipate groundbreaking will occur in December on the parcel of land next to Princeton Regional’s Valley Road headquarters — a site agreed upon in November after much ado and a couple of years.
Completion of the firehouse is expected for the fall of 1990.
In another action this week, Borough Council members introduced a firehouse construction bond ordinance for $720,000. The bond issue will be discussed again, and possibly approved, at council’s Tuesday, March 28 meeting.
While Township Committee has already financed the “soft costs” — for design fees and associated costs — it will not bond the actual construction costs until the project’s plans are completed, according to township Administrator James Pascale Thursday. He did not speculate on a timetable.
The township’s share of construction costs will come to about $1.2 million. The cost split on the estimated $2 million firehouse, Mr. Gordon said, is based on each municipality’s ratables.
Once the new firehouse is completed, officials can oversee the sale of the old building on Chambers Street, reportedly worth $1.3 million. Proceeds from the sale up to $1.3 million will be divided among the borough and township using the same formula that determined the construction cost share.
Any proceeds beyond the $1.3 million mark, Mr. Gordon said, will go toward the Princeton Fire Department’s future capital projects.
The fire department, which celebrated its 200th anniversary last spring, is divided into three companies. They are: Engine Co. No. I, Engine Co. No. 3 and Hook & Ladder & Chemical Co.
Under an agreement ratified in November between Princeton of, officials and members of the Princeton Regional school board, the property for the new firehouse was swapped for 14 acres of township-owned land off Rosedale, Road. The school district may use the site for a new school building.
The agreement was reached after several years of strained discussion between Princeton Officials, school board members and citizens about the firehouse location. It was dubbed “a model of intergovernmental cooperation” by board member Corinne Kyle.
Fulmer and Wolfe,a small design firm of ahnot seven ’employees, was awarded the firehouse project on the basis of its preliminary schematic proposal and its presentation to the committee, said Mr. Gordon.
Specifications for the project included a 12,000-square foot building with three bays to hold four fire engines. Officials also wanted the design to show locations for storage, a meeting/assembly room, bunk quarters for male and female firefighters, showers. a kitchen and an exercise room.
Although it has not designed, a firehouse in the past, Fulmer and Wolfe’s structural and consulting engineers have been involved in such projects, Mr. Gordon said.
In the past, Fulmer and Wolfe has worked on several buildings in the Carnegie Center, renovations to. Edwards Hall on Princeton University’s campus and the Recording for the Blind national headquarters in West Windsor, the administrator explained.
The firm’s principals, Thomas Fulmer and William Wolfe, could not be reached for comment.