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Updated design for smaller station given thumbs-up by committee

November 11, 2009
CENTER HARBOR — A smaller version of the original plans for the Police Station have been given positive marks by the Building Committee.

Plans were drawn up for a proposed station located in the area of Morrill Park after a year of research and analysis by the Building Committee and ton officials. The station was initially proposed to be a Cape Cod style structure with two sally ports, full booking and detention areas, other amenities with an estimated pre-bid cost of $1.3 million.

The plans went before a public hearing in late October came under fire by residents concerned about the cost, size, and the utilization of Morrill Park.

The committee and architect Gary Goudreau came up with a modified building design to address feedback from the meeting. The revised design reduced the original building by nearly 1,100 square feet. The design eliminated one sally port, an office, the prosecutor's office, and an emergency operations center that could be used as a community room.

The plans were presented to the Board of Selectmen during a joint meeting with the Building Committee. Members of the Board of Selectmen expressed concern with the removal of the community room, which could be used by local residents and organizations for meeting and training space.

On the Building Committee's Nov. 5 meeting, Goudreau presented a revised plan that kept the emergency operations/community room and had locker and bathroom space for officers in the upper part of the building. One sallyport still remains and the prosecutor will utilize other space instead of having a designated office.

"They thought that the larger design was good, we think the architect outdid himself," said Richard Drenkhahn, selectmen's representative to the Building Committee. "He really came up with a good floor plan that minimizes the amount of space."

The originally planned dormers are also off the design, a development Drenkhahn said members of the committee were happy with.

The smaller building means a potentially smaller price tag. Police Chief Mark Chase said the plans will go to the construction manager for a preliminary price.

The smaller design will also take up 16 percent of the greenspace in that area combined with Morrill Park and the neighboring Brooks Property.

"It addresses all concerns that we heard and any reasonable person would be onboard with it because it shows we addressed those concerns," Chase said. "Anyone who is against the project now is against it altogether."

Drenkhahn said a concern has been to have more residents come to Building Committee meetings to provide input. The Committee asked for people to attend the Nov. 5 meeting following the Oct. 24 public hearing. However, Drenkhahn said only a few residents attended the Nov. 5 meeting.

Plans are currently on display in the Cary Mead Room at the Center Harbor Municipal Building.

Chase said the revised plans are the ones that will be utilized by the architect.

"There is no Plan C," Chase said.

Town of Alexandria
Martin Lord & Osman
Salmon Press
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