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Tecton presents conceptual design for Wilbraham police station

Date: 1/29/2015

WILBRAHAM – Tecton Architects presented the conceptual design of a proposed new police station at the Police Station Building Feasibility Subcommittee’s Jan. 26 meeting.

Jeff McElravy, architect and senior project manager for Tecton, discussed implemented design changes that the subcommittee had previously requested and possible new changes to be made.

“This whole garage wing was at the other end of the building so that the prisoner area was below the training room,” he added. “One of the things they asked was that I move it to the opposite side. There’s a number of rooms, for instance, report prep used to be downstairs. They asked for me to move it upstairs near shift command. Archive used to be upstairs and then I moved it downstairs so I could fit report prep up there.”

A lot of the changes consisted of swapping “programmatic elements” from one floor to another, McElravy noted.

“If I prioritize, dispatch is number one,” he added. “Prisoner is number two because I’ve got a lot of rules and there’s safety and officers as well as inmate safety there. The community/ training space is a priority only because it’s the biggest room in the building.”

McElravy told Reminder Publications the approximately 1,700-square-foot facility has a proposed 460-square-foot dispatch center and a 1,245-square-foot community/training room.

Other priorities include mandate requirement space usage for evidence storage an appropriate facilities for patrol officers, including locker rooms or report prep areas, he added.

The subcommittee also recommended that McElravy change the aesthetic designs regarding the outside of the building. The proposed outside would have been a contemporary style, utilizing stone. The subcommittee gave its direction for a more traditional aesthetic – a brick and mortar design fitting the New England style of architecture.

The steep of the roof would also be increased as recommended by the subcommittee, he added.

“I’m going to revise the elevations,” McElravy said. “I’m going to revise the comments on the floor plan and once I get buy-in from the committee, then I’m going to send it off to an estimator and from the estimate we’ll be in apposition to make some decisions about what they want to go to the town for to make a recommendation [to the Board of Selectmen for the project’s budget.]”

McElravy said there are a total of 54 parking spaces in the conceptual design. 10 would be for cruisers, 32 for staff, and 11 parking spaces would be for visitors.

“Upstairs is all your public service areas,” he added. “[It consists of] your dispatch, your records, the community room. It’s also got your investigative, your administrative, and limited patrol functions. Downstairs are your evidence storage, your staff facilities or patrol functions, and your prisoner area.”

Subcommittee Chair Roger Fontaine said the subcommittee is currently waiting for the cost estimate, which would start a dialogue regarding an article for the project at the Annual Town Meeting.

“We have a design that meets what we need, square footage, etc,” he added. “The location is all defined. Having the cost to go with that will allow us to develop our plan to go to Town Meeting and present information to the towns folks.”

Fontaine said on Feb. 9 the subcommittee would likely review the appraisals for the designated preferred site location at 2780 Boston Road, which is owned by Helen Moore. The request for proposals listed the cost for a site as up to $425,0000. A residential home currently exists on the 1.8 acre site.

After that meeting, the subcommittee would meet with the Board of Selectmen and present the appraisal figure for the site, he added. The board would then start the process of negotiating with Moore for the purchase of the site.

On Feb. 23, the subcommittee would tentatively meet and “have a sound discussion” regarding the project’s estimated cost, Fontaine said.

“We’re going to put those facts out there so there’s no guess work and people understand what we’re talking about,” he added.

Police Chief Roger Tucker said the design is “more than adequate for what the police department looks for.”