A ribbon cutting ceremony was held December 19 to celebrate the opening of Peekskill’s new Central Firehouse, a $12 million project that spanned four administrations and two decades of planning.
“The city has achieved what many people talk about, but few ever accomplish,” said City Manager Richard Leins. “A lot has gone into this building.”
The 30,300-square-foot, two-story Central Firehouse, located at the corner of Broad and Main streets, across from Walgreens, consolidates five existing fire facilities in the city, enabling the 25 career firefighters and more than 100 volunteers to respond to an emergency within approximately two minutes.
“This is 20 years in the making,” said Fire Chief Vincent Malaspina. “What you are seeing in this gigantic building there’s no words you can put down on paper. Our new fire protection facility is designed to serve the community and our firefighters.”
The state-of-the-art Central Firehouse, funded by a city bond, includes six bays for fire trucks, a kitchen, locker room, sleeping quarters, training stations and a public meeting room. The lobby features a Fire Museum that highlights years of service to the city. The City Fire Department was founded in 1813.
Firefighters in Peekskill cover 4.3 square miles and respond to about 4,500 calls annually. Ironically, at the start of the ceremony, a call for help came in.
“This is a moment I hope we never forget,” said Peekskill Mayor Andre Rainey. “The grand opening of the Central Firehouse is finally here. This is Peekskill’s newest baby. This is Peekskill’s biggest baby. This baby did not happen overnight. This building is not just a firehouse. It’s a gift that represents an opportunity for unity.”
Former mayors John Testa (a current county legislator), Mary Foster and Frank Catalina were all in attendance at the ceremony, as were more than 100 community members and business leaders.
“It’s a beautiful structure. The most important thing is we give our firefighters the equipment and housing they need,” Testa said. “Godspeed with the new building.”
The building was designed with both modern and historical aesthetics by Robert Mitchell of Mitchell Associates Architects. Calgi Construction Services provided construction oversight for the nearly two-year process. The contractor team included Rok-Built Construction, Inc. of Yorktown, ABM Air Conditioning and Heating, Inc. of Hawthorne, S&L Plumbing and Heating Corp. of Brewster, Rockland Electric of Nanuet and SRI Fire Sprinkler LLC of Highland.
Peekskill will utilize two of the former firehouses for city purposes. Two others, on Broad Street and North Division Street, are currently being marketed. The fifth fire station the city had rented.