This option for relocation involves the purchase and build-out of the building formerly used as the S.G. Torrice Distribution Center located at 61 Business Park Drive, it's land and the adjacent lot, which can be used for potential future expansion to include the completion of a Life Safety Complex with fire and rescue services.
The existing facility is located at 179 East Main Street immediately east of the railroad tracks as you head to I-93 from the downtown area. The building was designed in 1988 and occupied in December 1990. The current site was selected because the Town owned the land and it was the closest property available to the downtown area. The building cost approximately $290,000 for 5290 square feet of space including the garage and unfinished basement. The lobby area was subsequently remodeled and basement walls were installed to provide additional storage.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why do we need a new Police Facility?
The current facility can no longer meet the growing needs of our community. For example, in 1991, one year after opening the existing facility, we covered 6,333 calls. This call volume remained fairly consistent through 2000, increasing by 7.6% over that four year period to 6,816 calls. Over the past five years, we have seen our call volume increase by nearly 51% reaching a total of 10,287 calls in 2005. In response, the Department has doubled in size from 8 full-time officers with 1 administrative staff person in 1991 to 16 full-time officers and 2 administrative staff in 2005. In addition, there is need for additional secure storage to meet new regulations for evidence retention and properly store equipment. The existing facility simply does not have adequate space in all key areas of our Department. Other deficiencies include:
ü Inadequate security for prisoners, department staff and visitors.
ü Insufficient parking and building access by the public.
ü Inadequate egress for emergency response calls.
Where will it be located?
The town has purchased an almost new building on Business Park Drive formerly used as a wharehouse. This parcel is particularly attractive to us for the following reasons:
ü It reduces the response time for us in the Exit 20 commercial area where the majority of our calls come from and where we expected them to come from in the future.
ü It is the most suitable site (size, access, egress, future expansion, etc) in close proximity to the downtown area.
ü Based on preliminary discussions with the property owner, it is the most reasonably priced parcel that meets current and future needs.
How long will it take to build?
We started the process in 2005, convening a Police Station Study Group to identify the space needs of the Police Department and complete an initial screening of potential sites. A budget item is included for consideration at the 2006 March Town Meeting to take the next step, which is to retain an architectural and engineering firm to develop schematic plans and preliminary pricing of the facility. We expect to seek funding for the final design of the facility at the 2007 March Town Meeting and complete the design and bid the project for construction in the Fall of 2007. This will provide us a firm construction price for the 2008 Town Meeting. If approved, construction will commence in the Spring of 2008 with an anticipated completion date of Summer 2009.
Can the existing facility be expanded?
The existing facility sits on a small lot and significant renovations would be required to meet current space and security needs. In addition, an expanded facility at the current location will not address other key deficiencies such as parking, public access and safe egress from the facility when responding to an emergency.
What will happen to the existing facility?
The existing facility will be sold.