Syosset residents will get a chance to see plans for a revamped firehouse beginning Thursday.
Syosset Fire Department's Station #3, on South Oyster Bay Road near Syosset Library, will soon undergo an approximately $4.5 million renovation and to keep residents in the loop, the department is holding three meetings where people can see early plans, ask questions, and voice concerns.
"We want to be open about this like we were when we rebuilt the Woodbury firehouse," said Commissioner Giovanni Graceffa.
"When we redid Woodbury, there were neighbors who had concerns, and we listened and worked with them to the best of our ability," said Graceffa. "We want to hear people's concerns now so that we can plan and make sure all parties are happy.
The meetings will take place Thursday from 7-9 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m.-12 p.m., and Monday 7-9 p.m. at fire headquarters on Cold Spring Road.
Station #3, nextdoor to the Syosset Library, was last renovated in 1992, but the facilities have been quickly outgrown. The renovations will allow for safe amounts of spacing and storage critical to safe responses.
Among the additions will be a 13-foot extension on the northern side of the firehouse where emergency vehicles are kept. Two engines will be safely and comfortably housed there.
Extensions will also allow for ample storage of gear, room for volunteers to work, and sleeping quarters - critical during storm readiness periods.
"If I can get a business owner to do some of his work here, if I can get a college student to study here, that means when that bell rings, I have a team already assembled," said Graceffa.
In addition to bringing the firehouse up to code, Graceffa said the reconstruction would allow for some cosmetic improvements as well.
"To me, a firehouse should be red - not this sandy color. You should drive by it and say, 'Hey, that's the firehouse,' not 'Now what is that?"
Officials plan to keep the project under $4.5 million and the price of the recon will be covered by reserves. Bids are currently out and the station will make an official annoucement on their choice of contractor next month.
"An important details about the project is that it will be funded entirely through reserves so taxes will not go up to fund it," said Graceffa, adding the construction is projected to take about a year and a half. He added that the steady rise of the economy and the coming boom in the construction industry as a result of Hurricane Sandy made it critical to do the project as soon as possible.
"One of the most important details is that our response time won't suffer because we'll keep the firehouse open and and active during construction."
Graceffa said the construction they do won't have to be updated for up to 50 years.