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Selectmen review police facility design

April 03, 2019
TUFTONBORO — In late 2018, the Town of Tuftonboro retained the services of Alba Architects and their engineering team to conduct existing conditions review, analysis, and assessment of the existing police department building. On April 1, architects Stuart Anderson and Phil Bennet of Alba Architects brought a design for a new police facility to the April 1 Board of Selectmen meeting for perusal and discussion.

Chairman Bill Marcussen, Selectman Lloyd Wood and Police Chief Andy Shagoury were on hand to review and discuss the plans for a 4,500 square foot building to address facility needs for 25 to 30 years. The architect's report states that the existing building has a footprint of approximately 1,207 gross square feet. Within that footprint, the gross interior space (usable space) is approximately 917 square feet, including the 409 square feet of the garage space.

The square footage of the new facility is based on a projected increase in population by the New Hampshire Office of Energy and Planning of around 110 more people in the next 21 years, not taking into account seasonal/temporary population growth, resulting in the need for an expanded police force.

A recent town review predicts the requirement for an additional two full time officers, four part time officers and one support staff.

The architects said that expansion of the existing police station is not feasible. It would require a multi-story facility or loss of land from the cemetery site, and would also encroach onto the community garden site for parking.

The structure would have to be knocked down to the foundation, creating the problem of relocating the department during construction. Shagoury commented that he has observed the Wolfeboro Public Library under construction and noted that it is temporarily closed again while the roof work commences. A police department needs to remain fully functional.

He also pointed out some of the logistical problems involved with the space required for parking construction equipment on site in an area that also serves the town offices.

Anderson and Bennett propose a single plan that could be built in any of the following three locations: the land where the community garden is presently established; the Dearborn site, across from the library; or on the plot of land adjacent to Tuftonboro Central Station. The current police station could be repurposed, possibly for town offices.

A scoring system will be applied to each of the options, taking a number of factors into consideration: the impact on the site; availability of infrastructure; adequate parking; public accessibility; and expansion potential among them.

Discussion will continue as the process becomes more refined.

Varney Smith
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