The East Aurora Village Board voted unanimously Monday to go forward with a plan for a new $6.1 million firehouse that has signature East Aurora design elements – gabled roofs, panels of square windows and a stone façade.
“I think it’s aesthetically what we need,” said Trustee Libby Weberg, who served on the Fire Hall Committee. “And I’m happy.”
Before the vote at Monday night’s meeting, Planning Board Chairman Daniel Castle went over the details of the design and planning. The officials worked to find a look that paid tribute to the village’s distinctive architecture but didn’t overwhelm, said Castle, who is also chairman of the Fire Hall Committee.
They didn’t want an imitation of the Roycroft campus, a “Fisher-Pricey” nod to the famous local toy company or “cutesy-poo,” he said.
“We all have cutesy-poo gift shops,” he said.
The new firehouse, which the village had hoped to start building in the fall, could face delay. A study that probed 125 feet into the soil found clay but not the desired bedrock to go beneath the 28,000-square-foot building to be built at 33 Center St.
A second study will double-check the findings. If necessary the building site will be prepared with fill, which will be left over the winter to compress the clay. By spring the clay should be firm enough for construction, Castle said.
The new fire hall will replace the old 1960s-era building on Oakwood Avenue, which does not have space needed for larger modern trucks.
Also, tall trees around the Center Street property will be preserved, leaving a green buffer and softened street views, another design element that pleased committee members. “You can really not see much of the fire hall at all,” Castle said, showing a photo rendering of how the trees looked more dominant than the building from some angles.
Also at the meeting, the board approved the building of a new dentist office at 390 Main St., with an additional requirement that a speed bump, or some other speed-reducing element, be included in the driveway where cars pull in and out.
The owner of University Pediatric Dentistry practice, with a staff of five now at 100 Riley St., intends to start construction as soon as possible and open in the new building in September with a staff of 15.