SHREWSBURY – Community members driving along Maple Avenue in Shrewsbury have eagerly watched as crews constructed the bones of the new Shrewsbury Police Department in recent months.
On Wednesday, the town celebrated its topping off of the police station project, hoisting a beam signed by officials into the steel frame of the station.
One of those people watching the building take shape is Rep. Hannah Kane (R-Shrewsbury).
“It’s so fun to be able to drive by and to see the progress now going up,” Kane said during the ceremony. “It’s never that exciting when it’s simply movement of the earth, but when you see the steel going up, you can see the building really come together and understand what it’s going to mean for our community.”
“What great progress in a relatively short period of time,” said Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito.
Board of Selectmen Chair John Samia said the project remains on schedule and on budget, despite challenges including the interruption of the supply chain and inflation.
Topping off ceremony follows groundbreaking last year
Officials broke ground on the new station in September after Shrewsbury voters approved a $42 million debt exclusion to fund it.
The Planning Board approved plans for the new 31,125-square-foot facility over the summer.
“The result of all this work is what you see behind me — the bones of a modern, functional, comfortable police facility, which will include a brand new town communication system and will meet the needs of Shrewsbury for the foreseeable future,” said Patrick Pitney, who is the chair of the Police Station Building Committee, on Wednesday.
In addition to the communications system, the new station will also feature a 9/11 memorial and community meeting spaces — the latter of which Polito called “terrific visioning.”
“In a community the size of Shrewsbury, not only do you need an appropriate public safety facility, but you have places that people can come and get together and plan and do the work that they want to to help support public safety, help support government functions and be part of this community,” Polito said.
Shrewsbury is “pressed” for community space, Kane added.
Officials note other Shrewsbury infrastructure projects
Several officials in attendance drew comparisons to the topping off of Shrewsbury’s new Maj. Howard W. Beal Elementary School, which then opened to the public last year.
“One thing I have noticed out of all of the communities that I do represent, Shrewsbury is one that actually reinvests in the infrastructure for the town, for the community and the voters and the taxpayers,” Senator Michael Moore said. “And the taxpayers deserve it.”
Samia said the steel frame was symbolic of the “strength and resolve” of everyone who made the project happen and the strength of the Shrewsbury police and its mission.
“Finally, the steel frame symbolizes the strength of our support for all members of the Shrewsbury Police Department who put their lives on the line on a daily basis to keep us safe and make our community a better place to live,” Samia said.
Work now continues at the police station site, with the old station expected to be demolished in Feb. 2023, according to statements by the project’s architect to the Planning Board last year.