August 28, 1987
Police-fire station eyed for pool area
By Barbara Preston
A combined firefighter-police headquarters may be built primarily on what is now the site of Princeton Township police station and parking lot on Route 206, Valley Road and Witherspoon Street, according to architect Joanna Kendig of Ford and Short Architects.
Princeton Township Committee awarded Plainsboro-based Ford and Short Architects a $10,000 contract this week for an architectural feasibility study on a combined firefighter-police building.
The study will be completed by late September, Ms. Kendig said.
Township officials are considering police station grounds and part of the Community Park Pool parking lot for the new site, according to Administrator James Pascale. Both are township owned.
The study would detail the exact location for a new fire-police station, which may include tearing down the existing police station, he added.
Township officials have already considered two sites for a new fire house location that may not be the most practical, Mr. Pascale said.
The firehouse would replace the Chambers Street station, which is located on a narrow street in traffic congested downtown area. The Chambers Street station would be sold and proceeds would go to the new firehouse.
Township engineer Robert Kiser said the Princetons are considering a third location because the township would have to relocate the public works garage if it were to build the a firehouse on the Terhune Street site. And, school board approval would be required to build on the Valley Road Building visitors’ parking lot on Witherspoon Street.
If the school board says no to the firehouse, township officials want to be ready to move ahead with a new site, he said.
Ford and Short Architects, who prepared the first two firehouse location reports, recommended the Valley Road Building visitor parking area on Witherspoon Street for the new firehouse. They also investigated the feasibility of the public works garage on Terhune Street, bordered by Route 206.
Jeremiah Ford III of Ford and Short Architects, said the Terhune site is not desirable because fire engines must come out on a reasonably clear traffic way, which Route 206 is not.
Mr. Ford also advised against the Terhune Street site because the town-ship would face the need for a new public works facility, adding that there is nothing wrong with the present facility.
Mr. Ford recommended the Witherspoon Street site, adjacent to the Valley Road Building. However, this site would require the cooperation of the Board of Education.
School board member Michael Tomalin said the board has safety concerns about locating a firehouse across the street from the Community Park School, although he added the board has not reached a decision and will not meet again until September.