New police, highway departments could cost town nearly $14M
By Robert Fucci
Selectman Paul Maynard listens to presentations by Tecton Architects for new Police and Highway departments. Photo by Robert Fucci SUTTON – An architect company tasked to draft two new buildings for the Police and Highway departments told the Board of Selectmen at its May 3 meeting the overall cost may reach close to $14 million.
Tecton Architects, based in Connecticut, researched 389 Central Turnpike, a plot of land where the Blue Jay Restaurant was located and that the town currently owns, for the new police station.
Tecton drafted a plan that would give Chief Dennis Towel a 12,500 square-foot headquarters. The current headquarters, built in 1983 and located in Town Center is less than 2,000 square feet.
Total cost for that project would be $7.5 million.
One of the key differences in the new design would be the separation of entrances for the public and the criminals.
“What’s disturbing to a lot of people is the nature of crime we have today,” Vice Chair and former Police Chief John Hebert said. “Everything there is right in front of the parking lot. Criminals are coming in the front. Everyone needs their dignity. With a new station like this (they will have that dignity).”
Jeff McElravy, a representative from Tecton Architects, said the design gives the Police Department room for growth in the future, alleviating the need of searching for a new location in the future.
“It’s very shocking to sort of see what limitations the Police Department is living with today,” Chair David Hall said. “When you see it positioned against where we should be, then the need becomes much more evident. I think it’s critical. It highlights that need.”
The proposed location for the Highway Department is at 25 Pleasant Street. Smith said this location comes with certain obstacles.
“There are a lot of site challenges to deal with … water sewer, abutter property issues,” he said. “We’re going to have to overcome these before we get to the project.”
McElravy proposed a 20,800 square-foot building that would cost $6.4 million.
The estimates for both projects were completed by A.M. Fogarty and Associates.
“We should take this under consideration, and think about the longterm plan to build these facilities,” Smith said. “We are waiting for some additional roll-off from the middle school/high school project (a 20-year note). That debt is four years from callable. We’ve had roll-off every year, and last year significant. It’s a matter of time before we can go for a debt exclusion override.”