GLOCESTER – The Glocester Town Council has taken another step forward in preparation for renovating the current police station or constructing a new one. Whether the town will build a new facility near the Glocester Recreation Center near Adelaide Road, or rehabilitate the present facility at 162 Chopmist Hill Road is yet to be determined.
At their recent meeting, councilors voted to approve the continuance of a contract with the architectural firm Saccocio and Associates of Cranston for the second and third phase of the police department renovations and development of a plan for the potential new location, at a cost of $21,450. That includes design and a detailed analysis of the overall cost of both locations. The town’s contract with the firm has been in effect since 2020, when talks of the project first began.
Glocester Police Chief Joseph DelPrete explained that the completion of Phase II and III designs will provide a detailed estimate of the cost of the project. He added that the previous numbers given for the project will probably be a little higher – or maybe considerably higher.
“I think this (estimate) will be the best you are going to get, unless something crazy happens,” said DelPrete.
He added that at least one of the rooms in either facility will serve a dual purpose both for the police and emergency management, who will utilize it as a training room and for emergency operations, helping to reduce costs.
“I don’t need three of four different rooms,” said DelPrete.
He said that Saccocio would be prepared for a presentation at the first meeting in November with plans and costs if the money is approved to continue the project. In the interim, DelPrete invited council members to inspect the current building if they had questions or concerns.
Although the funds for Phase II and III were not in the budget, Finance Director Mark Capuano explained that there was $76,000 in grant money available in the town’s American Rescue Plan Act funds, which could be used for that purpose.
“We don’t have another path forward,” said Council Vice President Stephen Arnold. “We have to know hard numbers (of) what we’re looking for. This is the only way to find out.”
Previously, the council had set in motion a plan to appoint a building committee to oversee the project. The project, they agreed, would be better completed earlier than later in order to avoid increasing costs for building materials and other expenses, and to provide much needed space for the police department. DelPrete offered a list of improvements needed at the current location that included repointing bricks, replacing sidewalks, new drainage to prevent water damage, security fencing, and remodeling of existing rooms in the building for proper firearm storage, record keeping and evidence. The facility was built in 1989.
A previous estimate given to renovate the current facility was approximately $7,670,000, with a project that would add 8,300 square feet to the building. The cost of a new facility was estimated at $8,875,000, but DelPrete said that adding in the cost for trailers while the old facility is being renovated would cost close to $500,000. Add to that the potential for selling the old building for commercial use, and the difference, he noted, becomes potentially less.
DelPrete also explained that the town is in the running to receive close to $1,490,00 in grants that would help offset costs, with the potential for other grants down the road.
The decision on whether or not to fund the project would be left up to residents. Town Solicitor David Igliozzi previously said in order to get the proposal on the ballot for 2024, the council should draft legislation to authorize the question to appear ready to go before the General Assembly by January, and that it cannot be approved later than June of 2024. The council agreed at that time that there should be a great deal of community involvement in making the various decisions down the road, from location to the amount spent and more.