New Canaan may consider building a new police station on the Saxe Middle School baseball diamond adjacent to the YMCA, according to the town’s highest elected official.
The possibility for a new police headquarters there for an estimated $16 million represents a third option, according to First Selectman Kevin Moynihan, behind renovating the existing New Canaan Police Department for about $10 million or moving the agency out of South Avenue and into a commercial building downtown.
“The only problem with a new building is where do you put it on town land? And that has been identified as most likely prospect for building on town land,” Moynihan said during a press briefing Thursday in his office at Town Hall.
The idea was floated by former Police Commissioner Stuart Sawabini, Moynihan said. A new baseball field would be installed at Kiwanis Park to replace the one at Saxe, he said.
Town officials have been talking about the need to renovate the 1927-built Police Department on South Avenue—originally built as the first New Canaan High School—for two years. That cost originally was pegged at $5 million, then $7 million and most recently, $10 million. The town has $9 million in bonding earmarked in its five-year capital plan to renovate the police station over fiscal years 2020 and 2021.
It isn’t clear which route the town will take. A proposal to relocate the police to the “Covia” building at Elm and Grove Streets would mean the town needs to purchase that structure with a goal fo selling the current South Avenue building—possibly for senior housing, and with restrictions that its iconic brick exterior must be preserved—and expanding the Covia building itself. It isn’t clear how much the Covia building would cost—the property owner has floated an appraisal of $9 million, far higher than the town’s estimate—or just how an expansion would happen or how much it would cost. Moynihan said architects are expected to come back next week with those figures.
Try again, Kevin.
First try was removing Covia building from tax rolls.
Now, let’s use a ball field, when there’s a shortage of such space in town.
What’s next, a combination library/community center/police station?
Better yet, what about repurposing St A’s school building, given low enrollment?
“A new baseball field would be installed at Kiwanis Park to replace the one at Saxe, he said.”
I guess Santa and the Exchange Club will have to sell trees somewhere else???
Baseball is generally not played in the winter.
The field is set up and by the Exchange Club in mid-November. On weekends the entire field is dedicated to cars and traffic including Old Faithful. Bad idea….
No one — except the 2001 Yankees — plays baseball in November. Exchange Club would be fine. That said…I’m personally against the swap. Stanley P. Mead Field next to Saxe is hallowed ground and should not be used for anything other than athletic endeavors.
I agree that Mead Field (along South Avenue), which is used year-round for baseball, soccer, and lacrosse, is no place to build another town edifice. And moving the baseball field to Kiwanis Park seems suspect as well; baseball is played in exactly the months when parking at Kiwanis is at a premium. I appreciate “out-of-the-box” thinking, because it often does spur ideas, but this one seems to create more problems than it solves.
New Canaan is in the midst of its own financial recession…why are we talking at all about spending substantial sums we don’t have on new buildings?
I hope this project costs less than $12,000 as this is the same First Selectman that said at yesterday’s that he didn’t have $12,000 to spend on a town survey to ask the residents what their priorities were.
The police building has not been renovated in a long time. To what extent is this endangering public safety when considered alongside the lack of cell service in many parts of town? A comprehensive vision, manifested in a short- and long-range master plan, is essential.
That’s absurd. This town doesn’t need another building! The only option that makes any sense is to renovate the existing police dep’t building, and it’s time for this town to stop wasting money by dithering around with surveys, polls and outside consultants and just ?? make ?? it ?? happen??.
This town has a serious edifice complex.
I like the idea of a new building and probably be more cost effective in the long run. Renovation may be less at the onset but what will you run into after starting or in the long term.
BAD IDEA — when the BOE wanted to put the bus depot their
every one –I mean everyone said NO !!! “this is the first thing you see
when driving into town”