Brattleboro police station plans ready for review


BRATTLEBORO — The next site associated with the town's police-fire facilities project is up for review.

The town hopes to move the Brattleboro Police Department into 62 Black Mountain Road, currently home to the Reformer. The newspaper is expected to become a tenant under a real estate deal. The town has not yet purchased the building as it awaits the results of a second environmental assessment.

"We have vetted it many times with the chief and staff," Ray Giolitto, architect, told the Select Board on Tuesday night as he went through plans.

The Oct. 17 hearing will mark the final time the Development Review Board will be approached about new construction for upgrading police and fire department stations. The West Brattleboro Fire Station is currently under construction. Central Fire Station plans were previously approved.

Giolitto showed sections of existing pavement that would be regraded. A new area will be created for parking and patrol vehicles. An impound lot will be enclosed by a chain-link fence. The roof will be redesigned to make it more secure.

A loading dock currently at the Reformer building will become the entrance to a bay where two sally ports are proposed. Chief Mike Fitzgerald said this space was designed large enough to fit fire and rescue vehicles.

"At the south side of the facility at Black Mountain Road, there will be a radio tower and a generator," Giolitto said. "There will be a post-and-beam fence across the north side where the patrol vehicles are. There will be signage basically telling people 'no one other than police vehicles are allowed beyond this point' and it also states that this as well as the rest of the building will be under surveillance."

The plan includes a new lobby, two dispatch stations with a supervisor's office, a transaction window for records and another for speaking with dispatchers, a safe room, a fitness center and locker rooms, and areas for record storage and cleaning weapons. Other sections of the building will be devoted to interviews, forensics, booking and administrative offices.

A 2,000-square-foot space for newspaper operations, listed as "possible tenant" in the design, was "still in development," according to Giolitto. The floor plans have the paper in the southwest corner. Exits in the center of the building on the south wall would provide places for walking in and out of the newspaper office. An entrance would be cut out of a window and the lettering featuring the name of the newspaper on the east wall would be moved.

"There is an existing wall here that was the original exterior wall of the building. That happens to be reinforced concrete block, brick, so it's appropriately secure. There are some openings in it that we will fill in with concrete block. On some locations, we will be filling in with metal studs," said Giolitto. "Two reasons we changed the radio tower location is, one, because if it falls down it has to fall down on the property. But also, we wanted to make sure we didn't go over the tenant's space so the wiring from the radio antennas will come across the roof and make a turn and go into the IT (information technology) room."

Addressing accessibility, Select Board members asked Giolitto to return with an analysis about installing a push button for entering the police station and adding more handicap spaces.

"I am really concerned that we're putting money into a new building," said Select Board Vice Chairwoman Kate O'Connor. "I just think it's important as a recognition that some people can't open the door."

Call Chris Mays at 802-254-2311, ext. 273.


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