Public invited to open house Saturday at new $17.6 million Northampton police station
NORTHAMPTON — The 18-year quest to replace the former police building built in 1965 on Center Street comes to fruition with a grand opening celebration and tour for the public Saturday.
Celebrations begin at 11 a.m. with a grand opening ceremony, followed by tours of the facility until 2 p.m.
Construction on the new $17.6 million facility, which includes a $4.5 million parking structure in the footprint of the old building, began in November 2010.
Officers and staff have been using the new building since late summer, as demolition crews took down the last of the old building to make way for the parking structure.
Northampton Police Chief Russell P. Sienkiewicz said the old building had become inadequate on many levels to meet the needs of a modern-day police department.
Things like the old building’s size, power supply, facilities, interior and exterior security, and lack of computerized fingerprint collection equipment and a computer forensics lab were all problems that have been solved with the new facility, Sienkiewicz said.
The new building also features the latest in energy-efficient lighting and climate control, and entrances that have surfaces that collect dust and dirt, cutting down on cleaning time.
The building became possible after the approval of a $10 million, 20-year debt exclusion override by voters.
“I take this opportunity to express the heartfelt thanks of both myself and the entire police department for the community’s overwhelming support for the building of this much-needed new police facility,” Sienkiewicz said in a statement. “Truly, I cannot express the extent of our gratitude for both your generosity and your appreciation of our dedicated, professional policing efforts.”
Finishing touches on the parking structure were still under way Thursday afternoon, but it will house police vehicles and provide parking for court employees and will be open to the public on nights and weekends.