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August 25. 2013 9:06PM

Hampstead police hope to be in new station by early spring

HAMPSTEAD — The town is moving ahead with plans to build a new police station that officials hope will be open for business in the spring.

The $1.6 million project OK’d by voters last March is expected to go out to bid on Sept. 16 with a groundbreaking around Nov. 1, said Steve Londrigan, a station building committee member.

“There seems to be a lot of interest from contractors for building the station. We have been contacted by no less than 10 firms who are interested in bidding on the project so the (building) committee is pretty optimistic of getting the project completed at a good price,” Londrigan said.

The architect has finished work on the building’s design, but engineers are still working on site development plans for the driveway, parking lot, and other engineering aspects of the project, Police Chief Joseph Beaudoin said.

“We’re on track. The building committee is very happy with what’s going on and we’re hoping to get this expedited as soon as we can,” he said.

Minor changes have been made to improve work flow and increase operational efficiency, such as door placements and where certain offices were located, Londrigan said.

Due to structural considerations, the size of the station was reduced from the 7,600-square-foot plan approved by voters to 7,200 square feet.

“Despite the slightly smaller foot print, we didn’t have to compromise on our functional space,” Londrigan said.

The new station was approved after being defeated on four other occasions over the last several years.

The station will be built on town land near the town garage with entrances from Stage Road and Veterans Way. It will replace the cramped quarters at the current station on Emerson Avenue.

Town officials have said the plan would increase the tax rate by about $1.60 per $1,000 of assessed valuation for one year since it would not be financed through a bond.

The project was originally expected to take nine to 10 months to complete, but the station will likely be built in six to seven months and ready to open in March or April, Londrigan said.

“We are pretty much on schedule since the vote in March but it is likely the total project will finish earlier than we originally planned. Because the building plan is relatively straight forward, the construction phase will be shorter,” he said.

Police personnel are eager to get into their new digs after waiting years for approval.

“The troops are ready to move in tomorrow. Everybody is really excited because the building around us is falling down,” Beaudoin said.

jschreiber@newstote.com


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