Groundbreaking of new Hinsdale police department could begin in spring


HINSDALE, N.H. -- The architect in charge of designing a new police station for the town told the Board of Selectmen he hopes the project will break ground in the spring.

"That's what we're thinking," said Peter Tennant, of Tennant/Wallace Architects, who met with selectmen Monday to go over an updated plan for the building. He also said he would recommend not starting construction in January or February unless absolutely necessary.

Tennant said the alterations to the design will not include changes to the structure's overall size. He said the updated plan reorganizes certain rooms, brings the interview room closer to the main entrance and gives a little more space to the training room.

"That's the bulk of it right there," Tennant said, adding that he has consulted with Police Chief Todd Faulkner on the changes.

The police station is slated for the building almost directly across the building at 8-10 Main St., which housed a convenience store and an apartment. It was donated to Hinsdale for a new police station after it was severely damaged in a fire in August 2012. The town is in desperate need of a new station, as the police department has operated out of a temporary facility on River Road since the early 1980s. Taxpayers voted at Town Meeting to appropriate nearly $1.1 million for the project.

Faulkner told the Reformer he believes demolition of the existing structure will occur soon, though he did not have any specifics. He said some paperwork must be completed in regards to the building currently on the land.

The project hit a minor roadblock when town officials conducted a title search and found out the property line had been changed in the deed around 1909. This forced a meeting between the town and the building's abutters, which include property owner Andy Shapiro, to decide where to set a boundary and all parties agreed to keep it in the same spot. The purchase of 12 Main St., which once served as a veterinary clinic, for $38,000 was supposed to occur in the first week of July but was put on hold until the matter was resolved. And town officials plan to combine the land parcels to create a 0.53-acre lot for the new station.

Tennant also spoke to the selectmen about two potential delivery methods, which Chairman Mike Darcy said the selectmen would "chew on" before making a decision.

According to Tennant, the traditional design-bid-build is the method with which most property owners are familiar. He said it is a linear process in which one task follows the completion of another with no overlap possible. Plans and specifications are completed by the architect and then bids are issued. Contractors bid the project exactly as it is designed with the lowest responsible, responsive bidder awarded the work. The design consultant team is selected separately and reports directly to the owner.

Tennant said the advantages of this method include its familiarity and a low initial price, but the fact that cost estimates change during the design process and that the price is not established until bids are received serve as one of its disadvantages.

The construction management delivery method, Tennant said, allows the owner to interview and select a fee-based firm -- based upon qualifications and experience -- before the design and bidding documents are fully completed. The construction manager and design team work together to develop and estimate the design. This method provides more ability to handle change in design and scope but it is difficult for the owner to evaluate the guaranteed maximum price or determine whether the best price has been achieved for the work.

Domenic Poli can be reached at; or 802-254-2311, ext. 277. You can follow Domenic on Twitter @dpoli_reformer


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