Two sites for potential new Wilbraham police station being examined
WILBRAHAM – The Police Station Building Subcommittee has identified two sites to appraise for a possible new police station to replace the nearly 100-year-old existing facility at 16 Main St.
Subcommittee Chair Roger Fontaine said the two sites are 2780 Boston Road
, located near the fire station and 10 Post Office Park
, situated east of the US Post Office.
“We need to make [this project] highly visible to townspeople well in advance to Town Meeting,” he added. “Again, I think [we need] to illustrate what our process was and what the mechanics of those buildings offer.”
Police Chief Roger Tucker said the two locations were mostly chosen for economic reasons, however both sites met the criteria put forward in the request for proposals
“Monday, Dec. 8, was the deadline for people to submit proposals in regards to the RFP for property acquisition,” Tucker added. “We received five proposals. One was disqualified; it did not [meet the needs] of the RFP.”
Fontaine said utilities such as water and sewer are readily available at both sites.
However, there is also high visibility at the Boston Road location and an additional traffic light would potentially be installed at the Post Office Park parcel.
“They were also the two lowest price requests from the owners,” Tucker added.
The owners of both properties are aware that the town is interested in purchasing a parcel, Fontaine said.
“At this point, we have other work to do to evaluate those two parcels,” Tucker added. “It’s not a matter of just taking the lowest bid. At this point, you need to consider what the development cost of a particular site might be in relation to putting the building on it.”
“It may be the cheapest price to buy but it might be the most expensive to develop because of whatever conditions are on the lot,” he continued.
Fontaine said architect Jeff McElravy
of Tecton Architects
is currently working on a study of the development costs, which would allow the subcommittee to have cost estimates of the purchase and development of each site prior to a subcommittee vote to recommend a preferred site.
By the end of January, 2015, members of the subcommittee would likely bring a recommended site and schematic design to the Board of Selectmen, Fontaine noted.
The board would then begin negotiations with the property owner to purchase the site, he added.
McElravy would then complete a conceptual design of the preferred site with a price estimate included, Fontaine noted.
“We’re going to do our due diligence to put the best package forward for the project that needs to be done,” Tucker added. “It’s still going to be up to the taxpayers to decide whether they’re willing to fund it or not.”
The police station will continue to host tours for residents to view the current police station beginning again in March, 2015, he added.
A virtual tour of the existing police station by Wilbraham Public Access Television can be found at www.wilbraham-ma.gov/index.aspx?NID=529
The subcommittee is anticipated to meet and likely vote on a recommended site sometime in early January 2015, Fontaine said.