In short, the Highway Garage property is the Town’s largest unencumbered property, and is the only property that can be adaptively re-used to include a police station. Private property was ruled out as unnecessarily adding to the cost of constructing a new police station.
In July 2009 a report was issued by the Center for Public Safety and Architects Design Group, Inc., Winter Park, Florida detailing a spacial needs assessment of the current police station located at 26 Shank Painter Road. This report also identified potential options that exist in the community for relocation of the current police station including the following:
• The medical office adjacent to the existing police station
• The town’s existing soccer field
• The temporary facility housing hall offices (Jerome Smith Road trailers)
• Adaptive re-use of the existing site on Shank Painter Road
• The parking area adjacent to the fire station, across the street from the police station
Each of these sites was determined to be infeasible.
On August 24, 2009 the Board of Selectmen directed the Town Manager to form a Town Manager Working Group charged with the responsibility of siting a suitable location for a Police Station. Additional sites that were considered were:
• Community Center
• Grace Gouveia Building
• Motta Field
• Grace Hall Parking Lot (Lot 3)
• National Park Service North Maintenance Facility
• Fay’s Garage on Court Street (private)
• Duarte’s Parking Lot on Bradford Street (private)
Once these potential locations occupying sites on town owned land and privately owned land were ruled out, a discussion ensued of the possibility of utilizing the highway garage site on Race Point Road. In February 2011 the engineer’s assessment concluded that the site was indeed viable with some design and layout adjustments including design circulation for vehicles and equipment. An initial and preliminary geotechnical-boring sample did not readily identify any environmental hazards on the site that could not be mitigated.
On April 4, 2011 Annual Town Meeting Warrant Article #22 requested the town voters amend the action taken at April 2010 Annual Town Meeting and to authorize the expenditure of this remaining $150,000 appropriation for the securing of design and project management services in connection with the demolition of the existing highway garage and the construction of a new highway maintenance facility and a new police station to be located at the existing highway garage site. In unanimous votes in favor of this action by both the Board of Selectmen and by the Finance Committee, this Article was moved forward to Town Meeting. Town Meeting unanimously passed a motion made by Selectmen Chair Anderson on April 4, 2011.