Nearly three years after construction started, and more than a decade since the project was first conceived, Tisbury officials gathered Sunday to celebrate the official opening of the town’s new emergency facilities building.
“The process for the building took longer than we thought, but that’s because people like Joe [Tierney] and the chief insisted that we end up with a product that was excellent,” said selectmen chairman Tristan Israel to the 50 members of the community and fire, ambulance and emergency management workers who had assembled for the ribbon cutting. “I believe we now have a fire department [building] that is second to none on this Island, or the state for that matter,” Mr. Israel said.
Since 2001, building committee chairman and volunteer firefighter Joe Tierney tirelessly worked with the selectmen, architects and contractors throughout the building process.
The $6.8 million, 18,000-square-foot building on West Spring street, across from the elementary school, was due to be completed last July.
After a long wait, the building now houses the town fire, ambulance and emergency management staff and equipment.
“There is no way we would be here today without [Mr. Tierney’s] commitment and his tenaciousness,” said Fire Chief John Schilling. “It was done with countless unpaid volunteer hours. The community owes a huge debt to Joe for dragging this across the finish line.”
And with that, Mr. Israel and Mr. Tierney sliced the ribbon with an ax.
“I feel fortunate to be a part of this project,” said Mr. Tierney. “This is a once in a lifetime deal. We only build these buildings every 50 or 70 years, so you happen to be in the right place at the right time.”
The speakers also thanked the fire and ambulance volunteer staff for their dedication to the town.
“For those volunteers serving today and who have served earlier, we can’t thank you enough,” Mr. Israel said. “Maybe this is one way we can do that.”