Southampton Volunteer Ambulance’s 30-year-old building is finally getting the rebuild it so desperately needed, and early draft plans for a new 7200-square-foot structure on North Sea Road have been unveiled.
Board of Directors member Jon Christensen said the current 1989 slab Butler building is no longer efficient enough for the association’s needs.
“It’s antiquated — we’re putting Band-Aids on constantly trying to repair it,” he said. “It’s certainly outlived its usefulness.”
He presented plans to the Southampton Town Board December 13, which calls for a small foyer through the main entrance, with bunk rooms and an office for paramedics to the left and a meeting room to the right. The meeting room will also be the place where drills are practiced, and could house outside classes like CPR training.
Currently, when the ambulance corps wants to hold a meeting or a training drill, a lot of preliminary work is required.
“When we have drills or meetings we have to put the ambulances outside and set up tables and chairs or whatever we may be using for training,” Christensen said. “We’re trying to get up-to-date providing some benefits to the paramedics. They could be on a 12- or 24-hour shift through the night.”
A bunkroom and a bathroom will be available for anyone staying overnight on stand-by during a storm or other event. There will also be a lounge area attached to the kitchen with men’s and women’s bathrooms down the hall, an office for the chiefs and board members, and four bays for the ambulances and other vehicles. Jay Andreassi, a Water Mill resident and developer who founded Sabrosa Mexican Grill, is donating a commercial kitchen. Andreassi’s wife Donna was an active EMT member for 20 years.
There will also be a partial basement for storage. And the construction will be modular, which cuts costs because time is saved while the building is erected off-site.
“We wanted to streamline this the best we could, efficiently,” Christensen said. “We didn’t want to go too overboard; we wanted to get this accepted. This is what I felt was enough to do the job that we need to do, and to make the town feel comfortable with it.”
He said solar panels could be added if the town chooses, and Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said a modern waste system also might be able to offset costs. Schneiderman reached out to U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin’s office to see if there’s a way to get additional funding in return for services provided to the Shinnecock Reservation, being that 8 percent of SVA’s calls are to that area, which doesn’t pay taxes. Councilman Tommy John Schiavoni also suggested reaching out to the Mastic Fire Department to see if it is receiving benefits for the services provided to the Poospatuck Reservation. Councilman John Bouvier cited a state initiative for shared services.
“This could ease the burden on the taxpayers,” Schneiderman said. “But SVA has really limited the scope of the design to just what meets the basic needs of the department currently and in the near future.”
According to deputy town attorney Kathleen Murray, resolutions will begin coming Southampton’s way. First, there will be an accepting of the transfer of land on North Sea Road from SVA to the town, which acts as commissioner. Once Southampton assumes ownership of the vacant parcel that is adjacent to the current structure it will receive a resolution to approve plans from an architect, construction team, and project manager. Once estimates are in hand, there will be a public hearing, although there will not be a referendum. The final step will be for the board to adopt a resolution approving the construction and going out to bid. Once that is complete the town will have to amend its 2019 capital budget to include the final expenses.