Devens, MA – On Oct. 12, The MassDevelopment board of directors ceremonially broke ground on a new public safety building in Devens. MassDevelopment will convert a partially vacant agency-owned building at 270 Barnum Road into a state-of-the-art facility that will house the Devens Fire Department, the Massachusetts State Police, who provide police services in Devens under a contract with the agency, and the Nashoba Valley Regional Dispatch District under one roof.
Once complete, the new 30,745sf full-service public safety building will feature a new apparatus bay to house fire and ambulance vehicles; modern living spaces for firefighters; clean, efficient administrative and working spaces; conference space for safety training and local emergency management operations; and an exterior tower to provide more opportunity for regular training exercises. The new building will also feature solar panels and electric charging stations to help reduce the environmental footprint.
The project is estimated to cost $20.8 million; MassDevelopment was awarded a $4.6 million federal Defense Community Infrastructure Pilot (DCIP) Program grant for the project, and the agency will fund the remaining costs.
“The new public safety building at 270 Barnum Road will bring a modern public safety facility to the modern public safety force we have serving Devens today,” said MassDevelopment president and CEO, Dan Rivera. “This project has been a team effort from our staff at MassDevelopment to locate, plan for, and invest in a building that will deliver improved public safety services for all who live, work, and visit Devens, including our military partners at the Devens Reserve Forces Training Area.”
The current fire station at 182 Jackson Road was built in 1965, and an addition was built by the U.S. Army in 1987 to accommodate larger fire apparatus. Yet, the building is too small to meet the needs of the current fire department, with several pieces of firefighting apparatus and equipment stored outdoors or at other locations in the community due to space constraints within the building. Additionally, the outdated building lacks adequate facilities and does not meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards for public access.
In 2019, MassDevelopment directed Winter Street Architects to perform a feasibility study that determined 270 Barnum Road would be suitable for the relocation of fire/EMS services. The building previously housed a day care facility and private elementary school and has been partially vacant since 2019; Nashoba Valley Regional Dispatch District, which serves Devens and five other communities, currently occupies a small portion of the existing building. In April 2023, MassDevelopment received a site development permit from the Devens Enterprise Commission. In September 2023, MassDevelopment awarded a contract for construction of the new public safety building to D.A. Sullivan & Sons, Inc. City Point Partners will be serving as the owner’s project manager on behalf of MassDevelopment with a goal of bringing the project in on time and on budget. TERVA Engineering will be providing the testing and commissioning services on the project.
Construction of the new building began in October and it is expected to be fully operational by summer 2025.