As of 2018, the Port Ewen Fire District (PEFD) in Ulster County, NY, was operating and maintaining five aging buildings on three separate sites that no longer met the District’s expanding needs. The PEFD had outgrown these structures, requiring more space for apparatus and equipment storage. Further, firehouse egress and ingress was difficult due to heavy traffic flows at its existing location. Due to limited doorway and bay sizes, all new fire-fighting apparatus had to be custom-sized, and the extra care that drivers had to use during turn-out was negatively impacting response times. Because of these factors, and the fact that maintenance of the existing structures was very costly due to their age and condition, the PEFD determined that a new, consolidated firehouse would facilitate more efficient operations and result in reduced maintenance costs.
The PEFD engaged Delaware Engineering to analyze alternatives for a new firehouse and to determine the best long-term solution for the District. Delaware prepared a report that studied PEFD’s current facilities and analyzed future needs, developed a spatial program and conceptual firehouse footprint, investigated site alternatives for relocation and consideration, prepared cost estimates, and provided a recommendation for the preferred alternative for the most cost-effective solution. The analysis included a questionnaire with all Firehouse Committee members to determine building programming, and an assessment of the benefits to and issues arising at the three sites under consideration as well as the existing site. The cost comparison took into account land acquisition, possible demolition, and design and construction. Delaware also prepared several debt scenarios for PEFD consideration, and a preliminary schedule to guide the District through planning, SEQR, public information sessions, referendum vote, design, bidding and construction.