EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 26, 2014

Weather delays new police station

Officials hope to open new station in June

By Alex Lippa

---- — HAMPSTEAD — Wintry conditions have halted construction of the new police station.

Police Station Building Committee Chairman Stephen Londrigan said the majority of the construction has stopped at the police station for the next couple of weeks.

“These winter conditions have proven to be a setback,” he said. “There is a lot of snow and cold temperatures. We’ve just had to pause certain phases of the project for now.”

Officials had hoped to have the building ready for use by early spring. But those plans have been pushed back.

“We’re looking at June now,” he said. “It all really depends on the weather.”

The town appropriated $1.63 million for the new station on Veterans Way at Town Meeting last March.

Londrigan said some setbacks were designed to save money.

“Removal of snow and having to warm the sites so we can work there costs money,” he said. “We’re just saying let’s put that on hold so we can contain the costs.”

The new station will be about 7,500 square feet, which is three times bigger than the current one, built in 1948. The new station will be equipped with cells, a training room and women’s locker rooms.

Londrigan said the plan is to start cranking things up again in three weeks.

“Maybe we can start sooner, if we get a break in the weather,” he said.

The town broke ground for the station in early December.

“We’ve been able to pour some concrete on the ground,” Londrigan said.

Police Chief Joseph Beaudoin said he was disappointed with the delay, but agreed it needed to be done.

“It would have cost us a few thousand dollars more,” he said. “I think we could do a much better job as the weather improves. The town approved it, but if it takes another three weeks to a month more than expected, then I’m satisfied with that.”

The weather isn’t the only delay the project has encountered.

Contractors encountered more ledge at the site than expected and spent $175,000 more than budgeted to blast it. That process put the project behind several weeks.

Selectman Richard Hartung is still optimistic.

“Given the set of circumstances we’ve had, things are still going well,” he said. “Once the weather cooperates, we should be right on track again.”

Londrigan said he was pleased that there have been several local contributors to the project.

“We’ve got Bennett Landscaping in here,” he said. “We’re also using supplies from local vendors.”