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Builder sought for Hampden police station project

Date: 12/23/2014

By Chris Goudreau

HAMPDEN– The $2.95 million police station project continues to move forward with the recent addition of a project manager and release of a request for proposal (RFP) for a builder.

Bids from construction companies will be opened on Jan. 20, 2015. 

Police Chief Jeff Farnsworth said the building would be a modular police station, the first of its kind in the Commonwealth.

“Basically, large sections of the building are built in a factor,” he explained. “And large sections are brought in and then fit together.”

Farnsworth said the new facility would bring the police station into the modern era. The existing building was a former school that was constructed in 1932. During the 1960s, the Police Department moved into the approximately 900-square-foot location at 635 Main St.

The new station would be located on town-owned land near the Hampden Senior Center on Allen Street, Board of Selectmen Chair John Flynn said.

“You have apartments that are larger than [the existing police station],” he added.

The new police station would also include a training room, a multi-purpose room, interview rooms, evidence and storage areas, a more adequate booking area, as well as offices for police officers, Farnsworth noted. The size of the facility would be roughly 6,800 square feet.

“Right now, we have issues where interviews with witnesses, etc., are taking place so close to other things,” Flynn said. “You don't have any expectation of privacy.”

The project’s builder would likely be chosen sometime in February 2015, however that time period is also dependent on the number of bids the town receives in the RFP process, Farnsworth explained.

“Obviously, it’s a multi-tiered approach,” Flynn said. “There’s the land part. [The Police Station Building Committee] has gone through and met with the Conservation Commission to work through all the permitting needed for the site.”

Residents approved a debt exclusion question for the $2.95 million new police station on the May 5 town election ballot.

Flynn said the goal is to complete the police station by the end of 2015.

“We pride ourselves on the fact that we resolve ourselves in a warm neighborly manner,” he added. “We’ve always been that way, that’s the history of the Hampden Police Department. This will provide an opportunity for people to again, get the services they expect and the value they expect in a modern 21st century set-up.”

Farnsworth noted the town would likely utilize new police station for decades to come.