By Laura Hayes, Senior Community Reporter
SHREWSBURY — Construction has begun on the new Shrewsbury Police station.
In a press release, Chief Kevin Anderson wrote that the department was grateful for the support it has received from the town.
“The new facility will allow for a better interaction with the public and include spaces for the public to use to enhance the department’s community policing philosophy, support the department’s vision and to continue to serve the Shrewsbury community,” Anderson said.
Project was funded through debt exclusion
Site clearing for the new Shrewsbury police station, which will be located on the same Maple Avenue town campus, started the last week of July.
During the Board of Selectmen’s July 27 meeting, Selectman Maurice DePalo, who is Vice Chair of the Police Station Building Committee, projected that a groundbreaking ceremony on the new station would be held in September.
Shrewsbury voters approved a $42 million debt exclusion last fall to fund both the new police station and repairs and replacements of the town’s public safety radio system.
The work, in turn, comes after the Shrewsbury Planning Board approved plans for the new station earlier this summer.
At just over 31,000 square feet, the new station will be nearly double the footprint of the Shrewsbury Police Department’s current home. It will be constructed to the north and west of the current station.
As part of the new station, there will be a new entrance to a police parking lot that will be accessible with an access card.
The main entrance to the Shrewsbury Maple Street town campus will be moved to the west. When the project managers met with the planning board, they further proposed turning the current campus entrance into walking paths around the existing veterans’ memorial.
A second memorial will be added near a training room in the new police station.
The old station will eventually be demolished with the site converted into a parking lot. A total of 104 parking spaces will be added to the campus once that happens.
Shrewsbury saves money on steel contract
Speaking on July 27, DePalo estimated that the crews would continue to clear the site for two weeks before beginning further work. Efforts to build the foundation of the new station should begin in about eight weeks, he said.
“So far, everything is on budget,” DePalo said.
He said contracts have been signed for the site’s steel and concrete needs, with the steel contract slightly under budget.
“That’s good news given the inflation we’re seeing in a lot of the building materials area and raw materials, generally across multiple industries,” said Selectman Chair John Samia.