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Police Station Construction Expected To Start Soon



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Police Commission members learned at their Tuesday, November 5, meeting that planning for the new police station at 191 South Main Street is nearly done, and construction on the project will start soon.

Police Captain Christopher Vanghele said that the bids for various construction work on the renovation project have come in well within the town’s cost predictions. The captain said that on November 6 town officials would be voting on accepting the bids which have been received.

Police Chief James Viadero said November 6 he expects that construction work will start sometime next week. Police occupancy and use of the building is anticipated by late November 2020.

Chief Viadero said he expects that the site will be fenced in for construction purposes on November 7 or 8.

The 191 South Main Street (Route 25) site is about 2.7 miles south of the existing police station at 3 Main Street.

The $15.1 million project will involve the renovation and expansion of the office building formerly used by The Taunton Press. The site is on the northern corner of South Main Street and Ethan Allen Road.

Kaestle Boos Associates of New Britain has designed the project for the 11.74-acre site. Besides the 7.35-acre 191 South Main Street property, where the office building is located, the town owns the abutting 4.39-acre 61 Pecks Lane.

The building’s interior will be gutted and reorganized. A building expansion area will hold a secure garage, or sally port, which is used in the transport of prisoners; several prisoner holding cells; and some evidence storage space.

The construction project will involve the 21,687-square-foot former private office building’s physical conversion into a municipal police station. The project will add 3,654 square feet of enclosed space to the 1981 structure, bringing the building up to 25,341 square feet, or an almost 17 percent increase in area.

The building will get a new roof. Also, a new septic tank will be installed for its septic system. Although the area is served by the Aquarion Water Company’s public water supply, the property does not have access to municipal sanitary sewers.

By huge margins, voters at referendums in April 2017 and in November 2018 approved spending $300,000 and $14.8 million for basic plans, property acquisition, detailed architectural plans, and construction of the police station.

Site work at the property will include resurfacing the parking lot and creating a new dedicated parking area for police vehicles. Of the planned 91 parking spaces, 63 spaces would be designated for police use. Also, a police access drive would link the site to Ethan Allen Road.

The new police station would provide suitable modern facilities for the 45-member police department. Police officials say the existing police station at Town Hall South at 3 Main Street is cramped and outdated. The existing police station, which has been in use for about 40 years, formerly served as an agricultural equipment dealership.

As it looked on November 6, shown is the 191 South Main Street site where a former private office building will be converted for use as a police station by town police. The building is projected to be in use by police in about 12 months. —Bee Photo, Gorosko
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