Construction begins at new firehouse site

22 December, 1990 (~estimated)

Construction begins at new firehouse site

Work has begun on the construction of a new Princeton firehouse about 28 months after the Witherspoon Street site was chosen.

This week, workers from CJM Contractors Inc. began ripping up pavement where the 51.6 million three-bay firehouse will be built. The new facility will be situated adjacent to the Valley Road Building, which houses offices for Princeton Township and the Princeton Regional School District.

The cost will be divided between Princeton Township and Princeton Borough, with the former picking up about two-thirds of the cost based on tax eatables.

Township construction official Elizabeth Jablonsky mid construction of the building is expected to begin March 15 and be completed Dec. 2. Workers are now doing site preparation work.

The facility will replace the Chambers Street firehouse. Fire-fighters, and a consultant’s study, have said response time is hindered by illegal parking and traffic congestion at the downtown location. Borough Administrator Mark Gordon said officials are discussing whether the Chambers Street building should be leased or sold. The sale of the firehouse could bring in $1.5 million to offset the cost of the new building.

The site choice was a result of a land swap between the township and school district. The district donated the parking lot at the Valley Road Building, which it owns, in exchange for a 14-acre township-owned tract next to the Johnson Park School off Rosedale Road. Although the land swap was announced Oct. 31, 1988, it took about 28 months to get construction started.

A joint committee interviewed architects before officials hired the Nassau Street firm of Fulmer and Wolfe in June 1989. Another joint group developed bid specifications, and bids were received on Aug. 21, 1990. A contract was awarded last October, and then various technical details had to be resolved, Mr. Gordon said.

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