New Public Safety Building in Devens
MassDevelopment to Convert 270 Barnum Road into State-of-the-Art Facility to House Devens Fire Department, Massachusetts State Police & Nashoba Valley Regional Dispatch District, Representing a $20.8 Million Investment
October 12, 2023
Kelsey Schiller, 857-325-3477
|Members of the MassDevelopment Board of Directors ceremonially broke ground on a new public safety building in Devens on October 12, 2023|
|Rendering of the new public safety building in Devens, courtesy of Winter Street Architects, Inc.|
DEVENS, Mass. – Today, 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 30,745-square-foot 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. Construction of the new building will begin October 2023 and is expected to be fully operational by summer 2025. 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.
“MassDevelopment’s stewardship of Devens has transformed a former U.S. Army base into a thriving mixed-use community with hundreds of residents, millions of square feet of commercial development, and thousands of federal, state, and private employees,” said Economic Development Secretary Yvonne Hao, who serves as chair of MassDevelopment’s Board of Directors. “Investing in a new, larger state-of-the-art public safety building reflects Devens’ role as a growing, 21st-century community and strengthens the capacity of its first responders.”
“Making Devens a safe place to grow a business and raise a family is an important part of our mission,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera. “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. This investment will bring all of our first responders under one roof in a single, more efficient facility – the Devens Fire Department, the Massachusetts State Police officers who serve the Devens community, and the Nashoba Valley Regional Dispatch District. 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. of Northampton, Mass. 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.
Located in north central Massachusetts, Devens is a 4,400-acre mixed-use community and an award-winning model for military base reuse. After serving as the U.S. Army’s New England headquarters for 79 years, Fort Devens was closed in 1996. Since then, MassDevelopment has worked to transform this site into a sustainable and thriving mixed-use community, providing municipal services, education, environmental protection, and infrastructure improvements to support continued redevelopment and job creation. Today, Devens is home to more than 950 residents and 100 businesses, nonprofits, and government organizations that employ approximately 10,000 workers.
Managed under MassDevelopment’s Devens Operation Division, the Devens Fire Department protects life and property through fire prevention, education, and suppression. The department of 20 firefighters is trained in the latest techniques of firefighting, including emergency medical services, rescue, fire prevention, and inspection.
MassDevelopment contracts with the Massachusetts State Police to serve the Devens community. Customary policing includes detecting, deterring, reporting, and investigation of trespassing, theft, vandalism, and other criminal activities. The State Police also provides traffic enforcement, investigation of motor vehicle crashes, and responses to emergency 911 calls.
MassDevelopment, the state’s development finance agency and land bank, works with businesses, nonprofits, banks, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2023, MassDevelopment financed or managed 545 projects generating investment of more than $2 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are estimated to create or support 10,522 jobs and build or preserve 1,583 housing units.