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Mendon New Police Station Expansion Site

Recently the Mendon Police Station Building Committee discovered that unsuitable soil is located in the ground where an expansion building is slated to be constructed. The expansion is part of the new police station, which also includes renovating the former fire station on Main St.

"We had a geo tech engineer on site to complete a series of soil borings and test pits," said Committee Chair Joe Cronin. "A drilling rig took soil samples below the surface to determine what type of material was below and help determine if the ground was structurally sound. What they found was pretty poor soil conditions that won't support a new building."

As a result, the added costs to excavate and replace the soil will be considerable. During a May 23 meeting, it was also noted other costs have increased including replacement windows, lockers, appliances, and chain link partitions, among others. As a result, currently the $5 million approved project is projected to exceed the approved budget.

Consequently, the Committee met with architect Kevin Witzell of Kaestle Boos Associates and Owner's Project Manager Mary Bulso to look at various options that will help bring the project back to its original budget.

One option discussed is to build the initial two-story expansion into one level with a basement instead. "That could save us a considerable amount of money doing that," said Cronin. Another option is a redesign that would "flip the building," explained the Committee Chair, moving rooms to different locations to take advantage of the masonry construction of the old fire station for the cell block and sally port area, and possibly decreasing the size of the building. A sally port is a secured entryway where prisoners can be brought to and from securely.

Another cost cutting measure discussed included eliminating a second egress for the sally port, which could be added later. These items will be reviewed by the committee at the next meeting with the architect.

During the May 23 meeting, it was also noted, the town continues to work with an abutter concerning the second egress should that go forward. The Committee plans to meet again on June 6 to continue discussing the recent budget concerns and review design options of the new construction to bring the project back in line with the approved budget.


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