A Builder has been Chosen for Lowell Road Station

August 18, 2017


Floor plan of the Lowell Road Station.

Floor plan of the Lowell Road Station.

by Len Lathrop

Fire Chief Robert Buxton presented to the selectman at their Aug. 8 conclave the outcome of the Request for Proposal process of deciding who would be the general contractor to make the new fire station on Lowell Road become more than pictures, charts and ideas.

Last March, in the town elections, voters approved the resources to replace the Burns Hill Station.  It was Warrant Article 6 then and, by July 2018, it should be as operational at 204 Lowell Road.  And it appears that there might even be some dollars left in the kitty when all is said and done.  The $2.9 million approved seems to be a great estimate.  A lot of work has already been done to make this happen, with some keys points being that the town owns the land, and the necessary water and sewer connections are in place in the street.  Everyone liked the plans that Londonderry had used to build their station by the Manchester/Boston Airport.  And they have allowed Hudson to use their drawings.

The town-owned lot is across from Fairview Healthcare facility on Lowell Road.  If you’re looking, it is just north of Hardy Road, also just north of the Market Basket Shopping Center; southbound traffic will be stopped at the Mission Point/Hampshire Drive lights.  If you remember the plans from voting, the station has been turned so that the apparatus doors no longer face Lowell Road and the truck can turn onto the apron and then back into the bays.  The community and personnel entrance will be on the south side of the building with its own parking area.

The Hudson Board of Selectmen has accepted a bid for the construction from the seven bids the town received.  The interview committee recommended a $2,820,915 bid from Structure Tone of Boston.  Reviewing the construction bid were Roger Coutu, Brian Mason, Todd Graham, Gary Webster and Chief Buxton.

Prior to the selectmen’s vote, Chairman Ted Luszey asked questions about why Northpoint Construction Management, the Hudson-based company that renovated the Leonard A. Smith Central Station, who he felt was a lower bidder, was not chosen.

Northpoint’s bid was $2,480,715 but did not include snow removal or builder’s risk insurance like Structure Tone’s does.

Fire Chief Buxton explained that the committee chose Structure Tone because it best met proposal criteria – experience; project approach; and ability to meet the requirements and cost.

Then Buxton continued, “I want to be crystal clear that the renovation at the Lenny Smith Fire Station can’t even be compared to the construction of the Lowell Road Fire Station.”

Vice Chairwoman Marilyn McGrath, who has continually voted against the new station, said, “It’s a beautiful looking station,” and was impressed with Structure Tone’s initial design.

The newest Selectman, David Morin, said, “I just want to say that the improvements to the fire department that have gone through are unbelievable,” he continued.  “In my 30 years there, we have not improved this much.  Morale is way up.  My personal morale, and I’m not even on the fire department, is up.”