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Police station gets scaled back

James Rada Jr.
Thurmont Dispatch

(3/15) Ground hasn’t been broken yet for the new Thurmont Police station, but the original design has been scaled back because the construction bids came in higher than estimated.

“The changes were made so that we wouldn’t have to change the footprint of the building or the efficiency of the building,” said Thurmont Commissioner Bill Blakeslee who serves as the liaison to the Police Commission.

The bids for building the new station came in at nearly $2 million. In its original estimate that won the company the bid, NuTec Design estimated the project at $1.8 million. The town’s project manager Gary Seiss thought the project could be done for around $1.5 million.

“The commissioners met and discussed way to bring that number down,” Blakeslee said during a Police Commission meeting.

Some of the changes include: switching from a three-car sallie port to a two-car version. The HVAC system won’t be quite as state of the art as planned. Though the station will be wired for an emergency generator, it either won’t be installed at this time or a smaller-than-planned one will be used.

“If we don’t have a generator right away, that’s okay,” Police Chief Greg Eyler said. “The electricity comes right on here in town so we don’t think it will be an issue.”
He added that the other items won’t affect the building’s efficiency either.

“We have also earmarked a number of items we’re going to get town staff to do for us to save us some out-of-pocket expense,” Blakeslee said.

Blakeslee said that a meeting with a local building manufacturer yielded some benefit for the town. “They have offered to purchase all the wood for us at their cost.”

With all of the changes, it is hoped that the bid can be reduced to around $1.7 million.

Eyler said he hopes to have the groundbreaking in a couple months. “I want to make sure we have all the permits and everything done before we do the groundbreaking,” he told the police commission.

After that, it should take 5 to 6 months of construction time to build the station.

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