Committee: Renovation of Police Station Could Start Around Thanksgiving, Wrap Up in Fall of ‘25


Rendering of renovated New Canaan Police Station. Specs by Jacunski Humes Architects

Work for the widely anticipated, estimated $27.5 million renovation of the New Canaan Police Department should get underway around Thanksgiving and wrap up in the fall of 2025, so long as other moving parts fall into place, officials said last week.

Front rendering of renovated NCPD headquarters, with solar panels over the parking area. Specs by Jacunski Humes Architects

The key to the project’s timing is preparing the longtime home of the Board of Education downtown as a temporary police headquarters, members of the Police Department Building Committee told the Town Council during its regular meeting Wednesday.

For that to happen, the school board must move out its Locust Avenue offices and into a newly town-owned Elm Street building, Committee members said.

“It really does matter,” Committee Chair Bill Walbert told the Town Council at its regular meeting, held at Town Hall and via videoconference. “If we don’t get the Board of Ed out, into their new space, and they sign off on their new space, then we can’t fit out that Locust Avenue space for the police. And it’s going to take a long time. There’s a lot of specialization, a lot of security that needs to happen. They are working on that as we speak with their vendors and then once that is set, they can make that move and we can start getting our construction people in the building.”

Rear rendering of renovated NCPD headquarters, with solar panels over the parking area. Specs by Jacunski Humes Architects

The comments came during an update on the project before the legislative body.

The appointed Committee has put forth a project to retain the historic architecture of the 1927-built red brick building at 174 South Ave.—originally built as the first New Canaan High School—while fully renovating it (“gutting it to the studs,” Walbert said). The project also will see the addition on the rear of the structure replaced with a new one for parking and with a sallyport and jail cells. Officials have referred to the project as the renovate-as-new or “Town Hall option,” as a similar project had been done about eight years ago with the expansion and renovation there. 

Berlin-based Jacunski Humes Architects is providing architectural, interior, civil engineering, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, information technology, site planning and landscape design, officials have said.

Walbert said the Committee has brought on an owner’s rep in Gene Torone, who’d worked on the Saxe Middle School renovation and expansion as a rep from Glastonbury-based S/L/A/M Collaborative, and is interviewing for construction manager on the project.

It’s “no surprise that projects in New Canaan bring out the best of the construction management world and we’re very privileged to have some amazing teams present to us today, they did an amazing job,” Walbert said.

The biggest change in terms of the public face of the building will be “architecturally appropriate windows, which are very important,” Wallbert said, “and a refurbishment of the cupola with modern building materials.”

“But it will not change architecturally,” he said. “It will look exactly the same so we don’t need anybody worrying about ‘saving’ the cupola. It will be saved, just in better form.”

The renovation project will include waterproofing the front of the police station, installing solar panels over the new parking area out back and putting in a storage shed in the rear, Walbert said.

Committee member Jim Beall said the group likely would come back to the Town Council sooner than later for funds because some items, such as electrical switchgear, have long lead-times in the current supply chain.

Town Council members asked when the lease ends on the Board of Ed’s Locust Avenue space (it should become available in August and the town will go month-to-month at that point), whether there are cost-saving measures in addition to solar that are being considered, such as natural gas (yes), whether there are still shared services between the EMS building and police station (a couple of small utilities but the boiler at the EMS building already has been replaced so that’s separate) and what’s the status of a proposed regional training facility in Newtown (it’s hard to imagine it getting approved). 

An administrative team of town workers continues to study the possibilities for a training center for New Canaan Police, which Walbert described as important for the community. It’s unclear whether the town will pursue a shared facility or its own, and whether it will be located in New Canaan or a nearby town, he said. The Committee will support the training facility project that the town proposes, he said.

The Committee is composed of Walbert, Beall, Amy Murphy Carroll, Michael Chen, Paul Foley, Mike Mauro, Penny Rashin and Paul Tully.

Mauro, a Town Councilman, said during the meeting that the town is looking at two locations in New Canaan for a training facility that have not been publicly disclosed. Town officials have said in the past that they’re looking at the wooded area along the northern side of Talmadge Hill Road between Lapham Road and the train station.

One thought on “Committee: Renovation of Police Station Could Start Around Thanksgiving, Wrap Up in Fall of ‘25

  1. Thank you to the police station renovation committee for keeping the facade of the existing building – and for all your time and energy in planning for it.

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