SCHENECTADY – Windows left open at the Schenectady Fire Department’s training tower at Golf Road and Oregon Avenue have allowed “pigeons and other stuff” to get inside the 50-plus-foot-tall building, rendering it unusable for at least the past five years, Assistant Fire Chief Don Mareno said.
The assistant chief estimated the tower is about 70 years old. Maintenance hasn’t been performed over the years since the windows were left open and animals got inside.
“We’ve used it as a training tower in the department in many, many different training evolutions over the course of its life, and we want to get it back to that condition, where we can,” Mareno said.
The building is used for training in ladder operations, such as mimicking a response to a high-rise apartment building.
The interior of the five-to-six-story building is in need of rehab, but before that can be done, it’s in need of a nearly $30,000 cleanup.
An agenda item sponsored by the municipal engineer asks the City Council’s Development & Planning Committee Monday for $29,900 for “animal waste cleaning and disinfection” of the tower.
The money would go to Sullivan Contracting Inc., which submitted the lowest bid.
The training tower has been eyed for selected improvements to restore the Fire Department’s training functionality, the legislative request from city engineer Christopher Wallin said.
“Due to the existing unsanitary conditions, engineering inspections and preliminary design work cannot begin until the building has been cleaned and disinfected,” the request said.
In the meantime, the department has been training out in the community, including parks and other areas of the city that lend themselves to training, as well as in Niskayuna and Rotterdam training towers, according to the assistant chief.
The training tower-site also contains a smokehouse that Mareno said is being considered for either a renovation or tear-down and rebuild.