Boardman fire station completion likely delayed until May

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Construction of the township’s new main fire station on Market Street was supposed to be complete March 17, but project leaders say it likely won’t be completed until early May.

Township trustees expressed disappointed that the project is behind schedule, but said they don’t think it could have been avoided. A truss redesign led to some delays, and contractors also have been beset by poor weather, fire Chief Mark Pitzer said.

“We’re getting near the finish line,” he said.

Contractors broke ground at the site on the corner of Market and Stadium Drive last spring. Originally, construction was supposed to be complete by the end of 2017, but some early delays pushed that back to March. Trustees said they are pushing to get it done by April, but Pitzer said that’s unlikely at this point.

“Things could change,” he said. “But the weather has been horrendous. It’s just not cooperating with us.”

“We’re disappointed that it’s been delayed, but I think it’s sort of typical with these types of projects,” Trustee Larry Moliterno said. “I think we would have liked to see this project go a little bit differently, but when you’re working with so many different people, there are challenges that come with it.”

Aside from the timeline delay, trustees said they are happy with other aspects of the project.

It remains under budget, and Pitzer said he does not anticipate any additional change orders being needed.

Currently, the contract with primary contractor J. Herbert Construction amounts to $3,607,434. The approved project budget is $3,732,300, which includes the original bid amount and a 10 percent contingency fund. If no other changes are needed, the project is slated to come in nearly $125,000 under budget.

Change orders were approved for soil replacement at the site; a waterline extension under Market Street; ceiling revisions and traffic signal on Market Street; and a few other additions.

Work on the building’s exterior is nearly complete. Pitzer said contractors now are finishing the drywall and painting, installing tile in the restrooms, and other work inside the building. The weather has held up putting in curbs outside. He said he hopes a project to install a traffic signal in front of the station will start at the end of this month or in the beginning of April.

The contractor and township officials will be coming up with an updated project schedule, and likely will give it to the trustees by their next meeting, March 26.

“We would like it done as soon as possible, but it doesn’t impact the township whatsoever” because the main fire station on U.S. Route 224 remains functional in the meantime, Trustee Brad Calhoun said.

Overall, he said he is satisfied with the project.

“I think it looks great,” he said. “It’ll be a nice addition to the township.”

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