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July 04. 2014 7:23PM

Architect on board for initial police station plans in Plaistow

PLAISTOW — The long process to build a new police station will take another step forward this month.

The town recently hired Dore & Whittier Architects of Newburyport, Mass., to complete a feasibility study for a new police station and refurbished public safety complex.

The firm was one of five that submitted a proposal to the town in April.

Dore & Whittier is being asked to conduct a feasibility study, prepare a preliminary design schematic and cost estimates for a stand-alone police station to be located behind the current facility on the same lot on Elm Street.

The town also requested that the successful firm look at rehabbing the existing building for the fire department and, possibly, the town’s inspection services departments.

Last year, selectmen agreed to spend $25,000 raised through public safety impact fees on the preliminary engineering and architectural study for the new police station.

“We will begin a very busy six-week phase of work,” said Town Manager Sean Fitzgerald. “This will involve a 15-page survey that the police and fire departments will fill out.”

The survey will help the architectural firm outline the space and program needs for the police and fire departments.

“They expect that the work will begin in Plaistow on July 14,” said Fitzgerald.

Fire Chief and building committee member John McArdle said the town has been looking at the possibility of building a new police station and an updated public safety facility for the better part of a decade.

“The longer we wait, the more it is going to cost,” McArdle told selectmen earlier this year. “It is inevitable that the building is going to be built. It is a matter of how much we are willing to pay and how long we are willing to wait.”

The Police Department and Emergency Management Department have been sharing the current building with the fire department since it was built in 1985, even though the intent in the 1980s was to have the building house only the Fire Department.

aswift@newstote.com


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