Regional Police host groundbreaking ceremony for new facility
● By Richard Gaw
On Sept. 12, in front of their former headquarters that was permanently shut down because of excessive mold, and adjacent to the former site of linked trailer units that served as their temporary facility, the Southern Chester County Regional Police Department announced a bold new chapter in their young history.
Before dignitaries and elected officials, the department held a groundbreaking ceremony for its' new headquarters, an 11,716-square-foot, single-story, L-shaped facility, located at 8934 Gap-Newport Pike in Landenberg, and expected to be completed in 2019.
During his remarks, New Garden Township Board Chairman Randy Geouque reflected on the significant progress the township had made in recent years, that led to the formation of the regional police in 2016, a decision that joined the West Grove and New Garden units.
“As we moved forward in this venture, it became quite evident that we needed a new home for our police, as soon as possible,” Geouque said. “This building reflects our commitment to support the Southern Chester Country Regional Police department, and to provide our officers with the best tools to do their job, which is united to serve our communities with excellence.
“We feel that the department is well positioned to expand into the foreseeable future. Once complete, this building will serve as a symbol of pride to the entire community, for decades to come.”
At a construction cost of $4.34 million, 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.
By a vote of 5-0, the New Garden Township Board of Supervisors agreed to the price at their July 16 meeting. The general construction of the facility will be done by Uhrig Construction, Inc., for the amount of $3.1 million; the mechanical construction will be performed by Clipper Pipe and Service for $337,000; the plumbing installation will be managed by Vision Mechanical, Inc., for $409,165; and the electrical construction was awarded to Cooks Service Company at a price of $488,810.
The facility's price tag will also include an additional $300,000 for furniture, fixtures and equipment.
“It's taken close to 20 years, to my knowledge, to get this point,” said township supervisor Steve Allaband, who also serves as the Chairperson of the Public Safety Commission. He spoke of the many conversations and variations regarding a possible new facility, that led to the groundbreaking.
“We are building a building for the community, which should serve the community for the next 50 years, or more,” Allaband said. “I take public safety very seriously, and I believe that if the employees of the department have a better environment to work in, it allows them to serve the community better.”
In his written remarks that were included in the ceremony's program, Police Chief Gerald Simpson wrote that the process that led to the ceremony was marked with respectful dissension, teamwork, perseverance, spirited public debate and transparency. The path that led to the creation of a new facility began, he told the audience, very early on in his tenure in New Garden, during conversations he had with township officials.
In thanking some of the contributors who helped lay the ground work for the new facility – including former supervisor Bob Norris and Sean Goodrick of Tevebaugh Architecture, the firm who designed the building – Simpson pointed to his staff.
“I knew the men and women of this police organization deserved a place that they could call 'home' and work out of, to serve this community at a very high level,” he said. “They were ready to be a part of a new era of law enforcement. I am very much looking forward to this new facility, because this community deserves to have a police facility that matches the efforts put forth by their men.”
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email firstname.lastname@example.org.