Construction Started On Public Safety Center Project

EDISON—Mayor Jun Choi, along with public safety officials and members of the business community, dug shovels into the ground last week to break ground for a new public safety center.

Construction has officially started on the Edison Public Safety Center in Raritan Center, a 17,045 square-foot facility that will house members from Edison’s police, fire and emergency medical services.

“Our commitment has been to upgrade public safety while continuing to be fiscally responsible. The construction of this facility meets both of those goals. This is a great day for a great township,” Choi said.

In a ceremony at the Raritan Center Parkway site, Choi was joined by Col. Rick Fuentes, superintendent of the State Police and director of the State Office of Emergency Management.

“Police, fire and EMS all respond to the same major emergencies, but rarely do they train together for these events. By enabling combined training in this facility, Edison’s new public safety center creates a unified force to face down the worst scenarios the town is likely to see,” said Col. Fuentes, who addressed the crowd at the ceremony.

The Edison Public Safety Center will include a training center, which will allow all of Edison’s public safety personnel to train jointly on site. There will be room for computer and physical training as well as space for seminars. This enables the township to host expert professionals to provide training. Right now, the more than 400 men and women who make up Edison’s Division of Public Safety have to go elsewhere to receive such training.

The Edison Public Safety Center will be the first newly constructed facility for the Edison Fire Department since 1972 when Firehouse No. 5 was built on Beverly Street. It is the first new building for the police department since the township’s finest moved into their current headquarters in 1980.

The Edison Public Safety Center will be a fully functioning fire station and provide for more balanced coverage in the area. Even though Edison currently has six firehouses spread evenly throughout most of the township, there is no facility in Raritan Center, where the property is assessed at more than $335 million.

“This is something that has been needed for a long time. Our department and therefore the taxpayers will be better served by this addition,” said Fire Chief Norman Jensen, who started in the department in 1977.

Jensen participated in the groundbreaking ceremony along with Police Director Brian Collier, who expressed his enthusiasm for the project and its ultimate result.

“Combining the earthen elements of brick, mortar and iron with the human elements of energy, enthusiasm and altruism, this new complex will measurably augment the public safety of the people of, and visitors to, Edison,” Collier said.

The land for the new public safety facility was sold by Summit Associates to the township for $10. The Frank Visceglia Foundation contributed the $5 million construction cost. Federal Business Centers is administering construction on behalf of the foundation. The presidents of both Summit Associates – Diego R. Visceglia – and Federal Business Centers – Peter Visceglia – were on hand to help break ground on the public safety center.

“Today’s project, the Edison Public Safety Center, is a wonderful example of our Mayor and Council’s commitment to the highest quality of life for our community. On behalf of the Frank Visceglia Foundation, I can say that it is an honor to be a part of this project,” said Peter Visceglia.

In addition to the cost of construction, the Frank Visceglia Foundation is donating a fire pumper truck and an ambulance to the township.

A firehouse or public safety center in Raritan Center had been discussed for years without any concrete plans. In 2006, Mayor Choi made constructing the facility a priority for the township’s safety. The planning and construction has been a coordinated effort with Summit Associates, the Frank Visceglia Foundation, and the township departments of police, fire, engineering and public works.

Construction of the Edison Public Safety Center is slated to be complete by the end of December 2008.

Mayor Jun Choi joined public officials and community leaders to break ground for the Edison Public Safety Center in Raritan Center last week.  Pictured from left to right: Diego Visceglia, president of Summit Associates, Peter Visceglia, president of Federal Business Centers, Col. Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the State Police, Mayor Jun Choi, Fire Chief Norman Jensen and Police Director Brian Collier.

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