Sentinel & Enterprise (Fitchburg, MA)
Fitchburg police station adds on, with help from friends
FITCHBURG -- Police say the new meeting space on the ground floor of the Fitchburg Police Station isn't just a place for the community to gather in the near future. The community has already come there, as shown by the volunteer work residents contributed to build the new community room.
The Police Department held a small gathering in the community room Monday afternoon to thank the contributors and unveil their handiwork.
"I think the biggest thing is, there were so many hands on here for this community effort," said Sgt. Thomas Daoust, who acted as the project manager.
Daoust said no city money was used in the project, construction of which started in the fall and ended last month.
Chief Robert DeMoura said the department's training room was too small and lacked a bathroom, so guests would have to be escorted around the building to use one. That was both a task and a liability, because the police station needs to be secured, he said.
A bathroom was installed down the hall, and the outside wall was extended by more than 5 feet, giving room for 10 additional seats in the room.
In addition to hosting training sessions, press conferences and meetings with other agencies, DeMoura said the room will be available to members of the community as a meeting space. He said that will help his goal of making the police more visible and accessible to the public, adding that a closer connection will help get more eyes and ears to aid law enforcement.
"I believe in what you guys are doing," said Paul Bessette of J and R Glass Service Inc., who donated the glass that surrounds the new addition to the room. "I believe we need a police department that will coordinate with the community."
Norman Boudreau, former president of IC Federal Credit Union, helped organize the fundraising for the project and shape its vision. He said he's proud that so many members of the greater Fitchburg community could come together and build something for everyone's benefit.
Steven Curtis, owner of Old Time Restoration, said he had fun coming in and working on the community room for five weeks, which included pulling up the floor to access the pipes underneath.
"It feels great to give back," Curtis said, adding that he grew up in Fitchburg and it was the Police Department that set him on the path to becoming a business owner instead of a troublemaker.
Contributors for the project, in terms of materials and labor, were Old Time Restoration of Winchendon; J and R Glass Service Inc. of Fitchburg; Cleghorn Plumbing & Heating of Fitchburg; F.W. Webb & Co. of Fitchburg; Construction Dynamics Inc. of Fitchburg; IC Federal Credit Union of Leominster; Haynes, Lienick & Smith of Ashby; Amico Carpet of Fitchburg Once Upon a Tile of Fitchburg; Rollstone Bank & Trust of Fitchburg; Fitchburg State University; W.E. Aubuchon Co. Inc. of Westminster; the Fitchburg Public Works Department; Zichelle Steel Erectors of Leominster; and Doors Unlimited of Leominster.
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