By Alex Lippa
---- — HAMPSTEAD — The new police station will likely break ground next week after selectmen chose a contractor for the project.
Gary Chicoine Construction Corporation of Weare was the lowest bidder at $1,443,313. The town appropriated $1.63 million for the new station at Town Meeting in March. The 7,200-square-foot building will be located on Veterans Way.
“The bids came in a little higher than expected,” said Stephen Londrigan, chairman of the Police Station Building Committee. “But this was the best bid which was below what the town had appropriated.”
The town and Chicoine are continuing to work together to get the cost down even more before ground is broken.
“We were looking for just a little over $1.3 million for the bid,” police Chief Joseph Beaudoin said. “We wanted to make sure we still had around $200,000 left over to pay for appliances, furnishing and other various things inside the building which the bid did not cover.”
The town and Chicoine will meet on Thursday as they work to reduce the cost.
“We just have to clear up the value of a few items, so we can get a real good view of where we are,” Londrigan said. “But after that it should be time to break ground.”
Chicoine had previously built police stations in Weare and Moultonborough. He also has worked on an apartment complex off Cluff Crossing in Salem.
“This is our line of work,” Chicoine said. “We’re pleased anytime we win a bid, and we’re happy to do it.”
Londrigan said the town received positive reviews about Chicoine’s previous work.
“The reference checks on the project came back favorable,” he said. “He also indicated a strong willingness to help us produce the overall cost through value-added engineering.”
Beaudoin was also pleased Chicoine was working on the project.
“We’re very happy that he’s willing to work with us on the cost,” he said. “From what we can see, he’s had very good results on the projects he’s worked on elsewhere.”
Chicoine said construction should take about six months, but bad winter weather may change things.
“It would have been nice to have started a little bit earlier,” he said. “But it’s not a large job. We should be done by late spring.”
Londrigan was pleased that the planning stage is almost complete and the town will soon start to see real, physical progress.
“We’re excited to be this far along,” he said. “Now we just have to finish off the final details and then we start.”