The Albany Public Safety Facilities Advisory Committee finalized Tuesday its initial recommendation to the City Council regarding a new downtown Fire Station 11.

At its last meeting two weeks ago, the panel couldn’t agree on what to suggest regarding the size of the proposed new facility.

Tuesday evening, with 10 committee members present — absences and resignations cut into the original roster of 17 that began the panel’s work in January — the group found common ground on the size language to forward to the City Council.

“The committee recommends that the ... programming and needs assessment be used as the programming template for the Station 11 design,” the document reads in part. “That document recommends a building size of 29,386 square feet. ... Chief (John) Bradner identified three building spaces that could be eliminated without jeopardizing the building function. This reduction generates a savings of approximately 1,100 square feet, which brings the building size recommended by this committee down to 28,286 square feet.

“In addition to the reductions identified by Fire Department staff, an independent review of the ... document suggests that the ‘circulation’ and ‘gross up’ (square footage needed for hallways, wall thickness, etc.) multiplying factor that was used may be overly generous. The potential savings is in the area of 2,800 square feet for a final finished building size of approximately 25,500 square feet. The committee recognizes that these circulation spaces can be influenced by many factors and it is very early in the process to be making cuts based on a best guess. Therefore the committee suggests that the City Council convey to whatever firm is hired to continue in the design process that the desired building size is 25,500 square feet as long as it can be accomplished without jeopardizing the building function and future needs.”

The meeting began with Albany contractor Mike Quinn, during business from the public, presenting rough designs for both Fire Station 11 and the police station.

“I wish everyone in town were as committed and interested as Mr. Quinn,” said committee member Bill Ryals.

It was panel member Ralph Wyatt who fine-tuned the fire department size language, proposed by co-chairmen Frank Morse and Dave Burright, to the point the panel unanimously accepted it.

“We don’t want it to be a cheap facility, but we want it to be a frugal economic facility,” Wyatt said.

Quinn was one of nine members of the public in attendance Tuesday.

During the last part of the meeting, the panel turned its attention to the police station, with a discussion of police department needs that followed a short presentation by Chief Mario Lattanzio.


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