The town’s highest elected official said this week that he would prefer to find a different site for New Canaan Police Department headquarters and build a new station there, rather than renovate the existing South Avenue structure or rebuild on the parcel. The cost of renovating the 1927-built police station, which comes with the expense of creating “swing space” elsewhere during construction, likely is far higher than many realize, according to First Selectman Kevin Moynihan. In addition, if the town builds anew on a different site in New Canaan, it can sell off the South Avenue building to a residential developer, Moynihan said during Tuesday’s regular meeting of the Board of Selectmen.
And if the town were to renovate or redo the existing police station in some form, “we are essentially going to get the same building with new guts or a new facade and that will be controversial, I think, like a lot of other building projects can become in town,” he said. Architects seeking to win a town contract for the work have said that about 2.5 acres of buildable land is needed. Moynihan said during the meeting, held via videoconference, that the town owns 500 acres, though it also may consider purchasing private property.