Initial designs for new police facility unveiled
02/28/2017 10:14AM ● Published by Richard Gaw
For the first time, those who attended the New Garden Township Board of Supervisors meeting on Feb. 21 got to see the first sketches of a dream in the making.
Sean Goodrick and Jason Maguire of the Wilmington-based architectural design firm Tevebaugh Associates gave a presentation that essentially cracked open the doors to the planned facility on Route 41 that will eventually serve as the headquarters of the newly-formed Southern Chester County Regional Police Department.
Using preliminary floor plans – designed from scratch through consultation with Police Chief Gerald Simpson and Deputy Chief Michael King – Goodrick and Maguire walked the audience through what will become an 11,716-square-foot, single-story, L-shaped facility that is expected to begin construction in 2018, on the site where the now-closed New Garden Township Police Department's barracks and temporary offices are located.
The facility will include a 400-square-foot lobby and a 540-square-foot community multi-purpose room; a secure administration area, which will include offices and a conference room; a detective bureau area and interview and testing rooms; storage and locker rooms; and holding cells and two sally ports for transportation of the incarcerated and storage of vehicles retained as evidence.
Tevebaugh Associates is not coming to the design of this new police facility wet behind the ears. An award-winning firm, it designed the 128,000-square-foot Paul J. Sweeney Public Safety Building in New Castle, Del., which houses all public safety operations in New Castle County; and the 22,000-square-foot public safety building in Rehoboth.
Goodrick said that the formation of the facility's design came from several meetings he and Maguire had with Simpson, King and members of the regional unit, as well as visits to the New Castle County public safety facility, and conversations with the Newark, Del. Police Department, where Simpson once served.
For now, the new facility will comfortably be able to accommodate the 23 officers and administrators who make up the regional police department. While the initial step in the formation of the department called for the merger of the New Garden and West Grove units, the back-burner goal of the unit is to expand, by welcoming other local police departments into the regional policing concept.
So, is the new facility being designed to accommodate that projected growth?
“[What if] all of a sudden, as a regional police entity, we add a couple more municipalities,” supervisor Randy Geouque asked. “Will we be adding on another few million dollars [to the cost of expanding the facility], in order to accommodate ten more officers?”
Adding an additional municipality's force to the regional unit would fit well within the current design, Simpson told Geouque.
“Where we may be adding [officers], we will not be taking away from the interior space that we need,” Simpson said. “I feel confident that the floor plan that we have is good for encouraging other partnerships in the regional police, for some time.”
Before construction begins, Maguire said that the former site of the New Garden Township Police, now closed due to mold infestation, will be demolished and the temporary police facility – connected trailers – will be moved off the site. Simpson said that while the new facility is being built, the regional unit will use temporary space.
Maguire said that the design and construction for the facility will go out for bidding this summer, and estimated that construction should be completed by October 2018
“This has been a long process for the officers,” Simpson said. “In the six years I've been here, the most energy we've put behind this has been in the last six months. Jason and Shawn have been very helpful in taking the information we've given them and putting it into the right format. I wish to thank them for the work we have in front of us, and the work we have already done.”
In other township news, Carin Bonafacino, the founder and facilitator the New Garden Growers Market, said that the 13th season of the market will begin on May 6 and run until Nov. 19, at its existing location on Route 41. Bonafacino said that she will remain as an advisor for the market, and will hand the week-to-week organization of the market to Heather Sachs, Sarah Carmody and Becca Logan, beginning this year.
Public Works director Kenneth Reed told the supervisors that the New Garden Township spring clean-up will be held on April 21 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., April 22 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and April 23 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the New Garden Township maintenance garage, on 8934 Gap-Newport Pike.
Reed said that the clean-up will not accept hazardous waste or electronic equipment.
Board chairman Pat Little presented township resident Stan Lukoff with an official proclamation declaring Lukoff as the recipient of the township's 2016 Volunteer of the Year. Little also presented supervisor Richard Ayotte with recognition for his service as board chairman last year.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail email@example.com.