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Ground could be broken next spring for new Glassport police station

| Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Plans for a proposed police station project in Glassport are progressing.

In January, council approved an application for $250,000 in Community Infrastructure & Tourism Funds through the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County for the development of a new police building.

The application was administered through the Twin Rivers Council of Governments. Twin Rivers executive director John Palyo recently sent a letter to borough officials informing them that his organization is in the process of executing a contract with the county redevelopment authority, and he was able to secure a $200,000 grant toward general construction costs, the grant origination fee and an audit. The term of the contract is July 1 of this year through Dec. 31, 2015.

Total projected cost of the new station is approximately $430,000.

“The balance of general construction, engineering, legal, administration and any other costs are the borough's local share of project costs,” the letter reads.

The project is scheduled for discussion at council's work session on Tuesday.

“We're just looking to move forward with the project,” Palyo said. “It's an exciting project for (the borough police). The building is being built to assist them in their duties.”

“The whole department is excited about it,” police Chief Cliff LaFever said.

The proposed building is approximately 2,100 square feet with a complete locker room and showers, a lunch room, an expanded investigation office, interrogation rooms, two to three cells and a modernized evidence room.

It would be handicapped accessible and built in the lot behind the borough building.

LaFever and other officers had a lot of input in the project.

“It's going to make us a lot more efficient than we are now,” LaFever said.

Discussion of the police station project was initiated by Mayor Rosemary Bradley when she took office at the start of this year.

“I felt that they should have a better and larger area to work in,” Bradley said about the police. “I don't think there's one council person who's not for it. I just want to make sure that we're being conservative and yet fair.”

The current police station is on the Fifth Street side of the borough building and was built in 1906. There is a main room where officers field calls, handle paperwork, and address visitors' concerns. Only two cells, which are on the main floor, are available. Cells on the second floor cannot be used because there is no fire escape.

LaFever described it as “very cramped.”

“We're working in a 100-year-old building. It is what it is,” he said.

“The (new) police station, I think, is a shot in the arm for the borough,” Bradley said. “It's good for morale of the police.”

Palyo said there is a conceptual drawing of the proposed facility, but Senate Engineering, the borough's engineering firm, would not provide specific details prior to the project going out for bid.

Senate engineer Ken Hillman, who's working on the project, was unavailable for comment on Thursday and Friday.

Twin Rivers would handle soliciting and receiving bids, which would be reviewed by engineers and borough Solicitor Gary Matta before being approved by council.

There's no official timetable for those events, but Palyo had a rough estimate.

“I would say we're probably around six months away from going out for bid,” he said. “There are necessary things that need to be done with the design.”

It could take contractors four to six weeks to review the proposals and submit bids. A tentative goal is to break ground in the spring.

Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965, or mdivittorio@tribweb.com.

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