By: James bentley
The Plympton Public Safety Building Committee held their first meeting of the New Year on Wednesday, January 4, 2017. Plans for a new police station progressed with schematic designs presented at the meeting.
Jeff Shaw, president of Donham and Sweeney, the Boston architectural firm hired by Plympton, presented the plan to the committee. The potential police station would be 8,300 square feet with a 450 square foot storage room.
The schematics included a basement, which was discussed as a potential cost saving strategy at the previous meeting. Last meeting, much of the debate was around whether basement square footage would be more cost efficient than all the square footage being on one floor. Jeff said, “My experience is building a basement is generally more expensive than slat on grid.”
After Jeff presented the plan, Police Chief Patrick Dillon voiced some support for this design, but he did have some concerns. Police Chief Dillon said, “The evidence area is a possible size concern at 8 feet wide.” The evidence room in the current police station is larger at 10 by 25 feet.
Other suggestions from the Police Chief include a third exit door and more parking spaces. He also thought it was important that there be a reserved space for the sergeant.
Art Morin again voiced concerns of cost. He said, “There are $300,000 out of capital savings to deal with. He told the committee he had also been looking into modular space options to cut down on the cost of the new building.
Many of his concerns stemmed from his belief that people in the town would not be okay with the price.
The bill for this project is due on May 1st and he said that people will not accept their property taxes being raised to provide any additional funds for this project.
Morin said, “People will know…I’m convinced we could lose the whole project if we don’t make some sacrifices.”
The narrative of the board shifted to looking at the concerns that come with using a modular space. The main concern brought up was is the modular plan unrealistic since modular estimates don’t include the cost of a boiler room and other essentials.
Police Chief Patrick Dillon spoke about another Massachusetts town trying to use modular space plans and failing. He said that, “Hamden, MA dropped three different mod plans and came in on budget with a non-mod.”
Other potential plans were discussed as well including one to completely get rid of the basement. Historical Commissioner John Wilhelmsen suggested working on plans while simultaneously getting prices for the building on the plans they currently have.
He said, “Pricing out possibilities while working on other layouts gives options to make an educated decision.”
Pricing will start before the next meeting on Wednesday, January 25, 2017. Some of it should be done by then, but all of it will be done before the meeting scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 1.