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Medford Police Station Review in Early Stages

Architects toured the police station Tuesday.

Medford Police Station Review in Early Stages

About a half dozen architects toured Medford Police Headquarters Tuesday, after the city put out a request seeking qualified firms for a facilities evaluation.

The city council's subcommittee on public safety met with Tuesday with Police Chief Leo Sacco intending to discuss possible alternative locations for the police department, but ending up deciding to wait until they hear more from design firms first.

The facilities evaluation is expected to include an evaluation of the current site and potential new locations, a pre-schematic design plan, projected cost of the facility and potential funding options, according to the request for qualifications. Interested firms are expected to submit paperwork to the city by April 11.

Councilors mentioned a few parcels where a police station could potentially be built, before deciding to return to the subject in a meeting in early May.

Councilor Robert Penta said three locations along Mystic Avenue could potentially be purchased or aquired to build a new police headquarters. Two of those were lots for sale on Mystic Avenue, the other was a 2-acre parcel of land behind the city's DPW yard that is owned by the state. Richard Caraviello, chairman of the public safety sub-committee, said there was property on Commercial Street that is for sale.

The police department will want public input on the project as it moves forward, Sacco said.

"This is going to be a public building, we want everyone involved," he said.

The architects who toured the building left "shaking their heads" at its condition. But had hoped more would have attended the walk-through, Sacco said.

"I had higher hopes that more were in attendence than there were (Tuesday)," he said.

The request for qualifications was publicized without a price at the choice of the city council, which may have been a mistake, Councilor Paul Camuso said.

"We probably should have listened to the purchasing and procurement team," he said.

At his inauguration in January, which included an assessment of the police department, but not the construction of a new facility or renovations to the existing one.

The council has since considered bonds for several of the other projects in Chart the Course. Councilor Breanna Lungo-Koehn Tuesday said she did not want to approve any other bonds until she had a clearer picture of the cost of a new police department.

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