An open house, public tours and dedication of the town of Newport’s new $3 million public safety building is set for 6 p.m. Wednesday at 21 Water St., the site of the former public safety building.

Lt. Amanda Chretien, the Newport Fire Department’s only full-time firefighter in a roster that includes 23 volunteers, said construction on the new public safety building began in June 2015 and was completed this spring.

The new building replaces buildings that were built in the 1950s, Town Manager Jim Ricker said during the March 2014 Newport annual Town Meeting. Describing the old buildings then, he said, “The cinderblock walls have many separations and breaks. Roofs and chimneys are in failing conditions, as well as the heating system. Actual space limitations are unsafe for our firefighters, police and public work crews.”

Both the public safety garage, which housed the Newport police, EMS and fire departments, and the public works garage were next to the Town Office on Water Street. The air quality and ventilation in those buildings had been questionable for some time, Ricker said.

A new public works building and salt shed were completed on Cemetery Road in Newport last year.

The foundation for the new public safety building was laid in July.

“All public safety employees will be here and will give tours for townspeople and business owners who want to check out the new building,” Chretien, 35, said Monday. “There will be refreshments and appetizers.”

The new building will accommodate, police, fire and EMS personnel, with a special bunk room for Fire Department live-in students, bays for firetrucks, locker rooms and an activity room. The Police Department, with seven police officers led by Chief Leonard Macdaid, has its own space with a sally port for bringing in prisoners, an intoxilyzer room and an interview room,” Chretien said.

“It’s a gorgeous building — two stories, new construction,” she said.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]


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