New Canaan Police Pursue Extensive Renovation of Department Headquarters

A proposal to renovate the New Canaan Police Headquarters building may be executed in the near future, officials say.

The New Canaan Police Department on South Avenue. Credit: Michael Dinan

A renovation has been listed on New Canaan’s 5-year capital plan for years—right now a $2 million item is earmarked for fiscal year 2021 (see page 62 here)—but never launched.

“We may be close to getting a good plan in place and working toward renovation,” Police Chief Leon Krolikowski said at the July 25 meeting of the Police Commission, held at the headquarters building.

The first and second floors of the building have not received any serious upgrades since 1981, according to the chief.

“It is sorely in need of a renovation,” Krolikowski said.

The Police Department was built in 1927 as New Canaan’s first high school.

Police officials have met with a committee that’s studying town-owned buildings’ uses and capital needs, he said. The Town Building Evaluation & Use Committee, chaired by Amy Murphy Carroll of the Board of Finance, is expected to deliver its report to the Town Council in September, including recommendations on what buildings may be sold or even razed.

The police met with an architect six to eight months ago who has worked on other departments in the area, the chief said. That architect had created a plan for the building 10 years ago that never materialized, and an updated estimated cost comes to about $7 million to $8 million, Krolikowski said.

When Police Commissioner Stuart Sawabini asked about starting from scratch and building a completely new headquarters building, Krolikowski said that it wouldn’t be possible to build a new building of the current size and capacity for $8 million. Commissioner Sperry DeCew added that there is no land to fit a completely new building.

The Police Department also recently met with an engineer and has been compiling photographs of specific deficiencies in the current building.

Those deficiencies were spelled out by town building officials earlier this year during the early stages of the budgeting process. They include extensive interior renovations and overhaul of its heating, HVAC, plumbing and electrical systems.

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