Police station to be finished by November

Building is designed to look like railroad depot

Taneytown

July 10, 2002|By Christy Koontz | Christy Koontz,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

After months of delay, the new Taneytown police station is taking shape next to the railroad tracks on East Baltimore Street.

Designed as an old railroad depot, the one-story station will stand in the heart of the city's downtown, a stylistic linchpin for Taneytown's downtown revitalization efforts.

"The building will be a match of what the old one was," City Manager Patrick Nield said, referring to the former train station at the site. "It matches the time period as well as the design of the station, which was previously here."

The 5,000-square-foot building will provide badly needed space for the city's Police Department and can accommodate 20 to 25 employees.

As many as 10 officers have had to share 544 square feet of space adjoining City Hall. The extra space will allow officers doing casework, interviews and interrogation to have work areas, said Lt. Bill Tyler.

"We're operating out of a two-room building with a front office and back squad room, which incorporates our fingerprinting, holding cell and officer locker room," Tyler said. "We're expanding to create a more professional atmosphere and more professional look to the department."

The station will have two holding cells, two interview rooms, five offices, a 405-square-foot booking room and men's and a women's showers and locker rooms.

A 49-space municipal parking lot will be behind the station, and 14 spaces will be created in front of and alongside the building.

Ground was broken on the $827,883 project in April, and work is expected to be complete by November. City employees will temporarily move into the police station while the town offices undergo a $500,000 upgrade.

Main Street Maryland

The projects are at the core of Taneytown's contribution to its downtown revitalization, an effort aided by the Main Street Maryland Program.

The exterior will have woodlike batten siding and a standing seam metal roof, reminiscent of the former train station.

To save money, a mahogany front door and matching sidelights were eliminated, trimming thousands of dollars from the project.

Also, commercial flooring will be used instead of carpet, concrete cell bunks will replace steel ones, and a rear carport and a second public restroom were eliminated.

Despite the changes, the new station will "be a significant improvement over the cramped quarters they have now," Nield said.

Nine bidders for job

GRC General Contractors Inc. of Westminster won over eight bidders for the contract. City officials were pleased with the lower bids, which were closer to the initial cost projections for the new headquarters and other improvements.

"We're getting a police station, street, parking lot and razing of the old [Southern States] mill all in one," Nield said.

When the city put the project out for bid last year, contractors submitted bids ranging from $950,000 to $1.3 million. In addition to the construction changes, a change in the economy after Sept. 11 might have contributed to the lower bid, Nield said.

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