By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
Shrewsbury – Shrewsbury has embarked on implementing a Police Station and Municipal Campus Feasibility Study which was authorized at the Annual Town Meeting in May. It was contained in Article 17 as part of the Capital Budget for FY 2020.
Town Manager Kevin Mizikar said that the current police station which was built in 1972 and was renovated in 1996 does not function well now for a modern police department.
Mizikar noted that now that they were well into the design and construction of the new Beal School that they could start to review the needs for the police station.
Although the funding authorized ($250,000) is for the study of the municipal campus as well, he said that the focus of the study will be on the police station.
He remarked that they saw the opportunity given that they are utilizing almost all of the space in the Town Hall and that the school department administration has grown such that they are “sandwiched into” the same footprint which was starting to challenge their operations.
Additionally, he said that the Senior Center presents some opportunities for some remodeling and reconfigurations to provide for the growing senior population.
“We have published the first aspect of getting a design and consulting team online. On July 10, an RFP [Request for Proposal] went out for its owners project manager (OPM)which is step one and those responses are due by July 30,” Mizikar explained. “We will probably take the whole month of August to select the owners’ project manager.”
Once the OPM is on board, then the next step will be to solicit for the architect who will carry the project in the early phases of the study. Mizikar speculates that will be done in October. He would like to have them on board by the end of 2019, so that there are several months of solid design work.
“That will really be the time that we start to understand what we need to do,” Mizikar said. “Is it a new police station? Is it a renovated police station or is it an expanded police station? And are there any things that we can do that we think are responsible within the budget for the Town Hall or the Senior Center while we have the designer here? It would be a cost savings.”
When asked about putting together a building committee for the police station, Mizikar said, “We will plan to put a committee in place. I would say at the latest this next spring at the Annual Town Meeting…They would be responsible for finalizing the location if we are going to do a new police station and what’s the scope of the actual project that we take to the taxpayers.”
Mizikar expects that by the fall of 2020, they will be in a position go to a Special Town Meeting for the next phase of the project.