Schenectady seeks to improve its fire training center – The Daily Gazette

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SCHENECTADY – A training facility used regularly by members of the Schenectady Fire Department is about to undergo a much-needed rehabilitation after years of use.

The city plans to rehabilitate the facility at the corner of Oregon Avenue and Golf Road at an estimated cost of $500,000, according to Deputy Chief Don Mareno. The city received a state grant of $250,000 to offset the cost.

Mareno said the facility, which comprises two buildings of two and five stories, respectively, dates back 80 years and is used almost daily. Members fill the structures with theatrical smoke and practice fire suppression tactics, rescue drills and scale drills under real conditions.

“We’ve been working on it for a while,” Mareno said. “It took time to get funds.”

The city has already begun cleaning up the property by removing weeds, securing broken windows and sweeping up plaster and other fallen debris from years of use, Mareno said.

Plans simply call for rehabilitating the five-story tower and demolishing and rebuilding the adjacent two-story structure. Work, some of which will be completed by city crews, is expected to begin later this year, Mareno said.

A contract for the project is currently being tendered and is expected to be awarded next month, according to Mareno, who noted that the department will hold its training at a separate location while the work is completed.

“We are always adapting and changing,” he said.

The city is also in the early stages of restoring its abandoned police firing range, located in the basement of the Liberty Street headquarters of the Schenectady Police Department. The project is expected to cost $1.2 million, including $400,000 in parts.

The city council last week recently awarded three contracts totaling $545,715 for the electrical, plumbing and ventilation components of the project. A fourth general contractor contract is expected to be awarded in the coming weeks.

Contact journalist Chad Arnold at: 518-410-5117 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @ChadGArnold.

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