The Dix Hills Fire Department broke ground Monday on an $8 million capital project that has been on the drawing board for eight years.
The project includes renovating the department’s existing headquarters building, construction of a new, four-bay substation and significant exterior site renovations.
The work will take place at the department’s headquarters at 115 E. Deer Park Rd., near the Northern State Parkway.
“This is long overdue,” said Larry Feld, chairman of the department’s board of commissioners. “We haven’t done any construction here and we are busting out of the building.”
The existing headquarters, built in 1956, no longer meet Occupational Safety and Health Administration and National Fire Protection Association standards; it has cracked masonry and brick and is missing mortar; has undersized sanitary systems and plumbing issues requiring modernization; is not handicapped accessible; is too small to safely accommodate modern fire and ambulance vehicles; and has extensive exterior erosion, drainage and paving problems. All of these issues will be addressed in the renovation.
The new 10,000-square-foot substation will be a pre-engineered building, placed in the north parking lot, Feld said.
The department has 175 members and has a coverage area of nearly 25 square miles that serves a population of more 27,000 people.
Last year, fire district voters approved a 25-year, $6.5 million municipal bond. The rest of the project will be paid for with $1.5 million in capital reserve funds.
Hauppauge-based Bartlett, Amoruso & Recce Architects PC, is providing architectural supervision, with Rick Bartlett heading the project.
“This project will be beneficial safetywise for the department, and it’s a benefit to the community as well as we continue to grow,” Feld said.