FARMINGTON — While architects have produced a scaled down version of the proposed new police station, the town has received another potential option to meet the Police Department’s space needs.
The architects have shaved nearly $600,000 off the cost, bringing the project to just under $2 million for the station at the intersection of Farmington Falls Road and High Street, Town Manager Richard Davis told the board Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, the town has been approached by the University of Maine at Farmington regarding a potential lease and future purchase of their Facilities Management building next to the town office, he said.
A long-range plan for the university includes relocating Facilities Management to the campus or closer to it, but it doesn’t have the funds now, William Geller, vice president for administration at UMF, told Davis.
Geller inquired whether the town would want to lease the 2,000 square feet vacated by the Cooperative Extension Service with the possibility of an additional 2,000 square feet in a year or so if and when the university moves the Facility Management offices to another location.
Another 10,000 square feet in the shop area could eventually become available but the entire space may never be available, he advised
While the location next to the Municipal Building provides a good location it doesn’t seem concrete at this time, Davis said about his impression of the offer.
“We need to discuss whether UMF’s long-term plan meshes with our long-term plans,” he said.
The 2,000 square feet available now would allot the Police Department slightly more room than its 1,500-plus square feet in the Municipal Building, and the space would have to be renovated to fit its needs.
Some selectmen suggested talking to the university about purchasing the building and leasing space to them until they were ready to make a move, under the conditions that the town keep the parking lot and not close off South Street.
The board directed Davis to inquire about a purchase price with those two conditions.
An attempt to close South Street to traffic to make it part of the campus was visited in 1984 and was not well received by residents.
The board also discussed the new architectural plans that eliminated the fitness room, two extra offices, an interview room, a hallway and reconfigured the other spaces. It also eliminates geothermal heating in favor of traditional oil heat.
When voters rejected the plan in November, the board sent the plan back to architects for a scaled-down version after investigating other options.
While it’s not designed to last another 30 years, it’s a budget that the public is more apt to support, Davis said.