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Ambulance Service Buys Former Church
Southbury group makes it new HQ

By: Chris Gardner
Waterbury Republican-American

3, 2007

SOUTHBURY - The former Sacred Heart Church rectory now belongs to the Southbury Ambulance Association, which is moving quickly to relocate its headquarters there.

The building, known as Crosswinds, at 68 George's Hill Road changed hands Dec. 14. The association paid $875,000 for the 4.3-acre site and two buildings- the rectory with offices and meeting space, and a three-car garage.

The association has applied for a permit from the town's Building Department to demolish the garage which, because it was built more than 50 years ago, is deemed historic. A 3,967-square-foot garage large enough for eight ambulances will rise in its place.

There are no plans to put eight ambulances in the building.

The association owns two ambulances, but is trading in one and acquiring two more, possibly as early as March, for a total of three, according to Henry Velthuizen, president. The remaining space in the garage will be used for storage or to house the personal cars of members while they are on call.

Velthuizen said members met Tuesday night with contractors who submitted bids for the new garage. They hope to pick a contractor soon, then begin work.

"As soon as we get things more ironed out and get a contractor chosen, we'll have a groundbreaking ceremony," Velthuizen said.

The former rectory, which is 3,700 square feet, also will be renovated so there is more office, meeting, storage and training space.

Then the association will stop paying rent on the house between Walgreens and Denmo's on Main Street South, and move its headquarters to George's Hill Road.

Velthuizen expects it will be easier and faster for an ambulance to get to calls because it wont have to battle congestion on Main Street South.

Crosswinds is within a quarter-mile of Exit 14 off Interstate 84, which means the ambulance can use the highway to get to calls on the east side of town.