Friday, February 4, 2022

New monument to salute Windham’s Public Safety members

Windham firefighters, emergency medical personnel and 
police officers will be honored with a new monument and
courtyard outside the renovated Public Safety Building on
Gray Road once construction is completed in June. From
left, Windham Fire Chief Brent Libby, Windham Fire Captain
Alfred Carter, Windham Fire-Rescue Office Coordinator
Nancy Graves and Windham Police Captain Ray Williams
show an artist's depiction of the monument.
By Ed Pierce


The courage, integrity and commitment shown by Windham’s public safety members is undeniable and soon these heroes who deliver help when emergencies arise, battle deadly fires, and offer residents of the community around-the-clock protection will soon be recognized in a special way.

There may be no proper way to repay members of Windham’s Fire-Rescue Department and the Windham Police Department for their dedicated service as they risk their health and their lives to keep us all safe, but a new monument to be installed outside Windham’s renovated Public Safety Building this spring will pay tribute to these brave men and women for their continued efforts on behalf of the town.  

This week as police officers and fire department administrators moved from the second floor to the newly renovated first floor of the Windham Public Safety Building at 375 Gray Road, work on the $4.3 million facility expansion project continues while plans were announced to create and install a monument outside the building once work is completed there later this spring.


According to Windham Fire-Rescue Chief Brent Libby, the Public Safety Monument will be a lasting way to recognize the contributions that police officers and firefighters have made to the town.


Libby said that the current Public Safety Building on Gray Road was built in 1988 at a time when none of the town’s firefighters were full-time staff members and Windham only had about 15 or so police officers on duty. Through the decades as Windham has grown, the town now employs four professional firefighters and the town’s police force has doubled in size to 30 officers.


When construction work is finished in June, the existing 17,000-square-foot building will add a 15,247-square foot renovation including joint space for both the Windham Fire Department and the Windham Police Departments.


The project features a two-story 5,840-square-foot addition to the building that will house five apparatus bays, a public safety decontamination space, bunk rooms, kitchen and offices for the Windham Fire Department and an additional 1,305-square-foot standalone three-bay space for vehicle and evidence storage for the Windham Police Department, along with the creation of a second elevator for the building.


In 2020, Windham residents approved up to $4.9 million in bonds during the Annual Town Meeting for capital improvement projects, including funding the expansion for the town’s public safety building.


Once construction at the facility performed by Great Falls Construction of Gorham wraps up, a new Public Safety Monument will be dedicated, and the public will be able to surround the courtyard around it with engraved paver stones offered by members of Windham’s Fire-Rescue Department.


Windham Fire-Rescue Office Coordinator Nancy Graves and Fire-Rescue Captain Alfred Carter are leading that initiative and say that the 8 x 4 paving stones are available for $120 and can include up to 30 characters. Donations for the project from the public are also being sought. 


“We see this as an area of remembrance of those who have served,” Carter said.


No Windham police or firefighters have lost their lives while on duty over the years, but Windham Police Captain Ray Williams said that the new monument will represent the deep level of commitment that public safety personnel have shown over the decades of service to town residents.


“Officers see it as support for their service and support for their sacrifice,” Williams said.   


Police officers first started using the existing Windham Public Safety Building in April 1990 and the renovated facility will be a significant upgrade for the Windham Police Department, Williams said.


Libby said that four Windham firefighters will be on duty at a time at the Public Safety Building and they are grateful to be able to work in the remodeled building thanks to the support of the public for public safety.

He said that the new monument and its surrounding courtyard with paver stones will be a constant reminder of the heritage and memory of all police officers and firefighters through the decades in Windham. The monument also will have space available to place the names of fallen personnel who are serving in the line of duty if such a tragedy takes place.


“Over the course of the years there have been hundreds of residents who have served, and this remembers the hundreds of hours they put in to serve their community,” Libby said.

To purchase a paver stone or to offer a donation for the monument, call Graves or Carter at 207-892-1911. <  

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