Police Station Renovation: GMP for Construction Set at $20 Million

The Board of Selectmen on Tuesday approved an amendment to the town’s contract with the construction manager of the New Canaan Police Department renovation that sets the guaranteed maximum price or “GMP” of the project at $20,235,000. 

Another $5 million has been budgeted for soft costs, with about $2 million each for a temporary police headquarters downtown during the renovation and contingencies, bringing the overall cost of the project to about $29 million, according to Joe Zagarenski, senior engineer in the Department of Public Works. The total represents the same figure that members of the Police Department Building Committee presented to town funding bodies in July, Zagarenski told the selectmen during their regular meeting, held at Town Hall and via videoconference. 

“It’s the same project, it’s just further developed and competitively bid now,” Zagarenski said. 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. 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. 

Officials have said the project could start around Thanksgiving of this year and finish in the fall of 2025.

Selectmen Approve $33,000 Contract To Make 106-Carter-Canoe Hill Intersection Safer

Town officials this week approved a $33,000 contract with a traffic consultant in order to design a new, safer plan for a harrowing intersection in New Canaan. The Board of Selectmen voted 3-0 during its regular meeting Tuesday to approve the contract with New Haven-based Hardesty & Hanover to create a long-term solution for the intersection of Route 106, Carter Street and Canoe Hill Road. The solution is expected to “provide us with better sight lines and safe turning lanes,” Public Works Director Tiger Mann told the selectmen during the meeting, held at Town Hall and via videoconference. Documents provided in the public packet for the meeting show that motorists traveling toward Route 106 on Carter Street would have an option to turn more squarely to the state road in order to gain a better sight line to enter the traffic flow and get into position to turn left onto Canoe Hill. “So as you’re coming up to Carter and Canoe, you would turn, have an area of refuge, and then be able to make the [left] turn [onto Canoe Hill],” Mann said.

‘His Legacy and Impact Will Live On’: New Canaanites Remember Don Hersam

For Steve Karl, there’s a very short list of New Canaanites whose contributions to the community in business, civic matters, faith and philanthropy exceed what anyone conceivably could imagine in terms of commitment and longevity. They are “the rare residents who have created a legacy and body of work that the rest of us just sit back and wonder how they could possibly have that much time, that much energy and that much love for one place,” according to Karl, himself a lifelong New Canaanite. “Don Hersam was one of those extremely rare individuals,” Karl said this week, days after V. Don Hersam, Jr. passed at age 92. 

“He was the soul of the community,” Karl told NewCanaanite.com. “The centerpiece of the 06840 Mt Rushmore,” he continued. “He loved New Canaan, respected its rich history, and consistently endeavored to make it a better place to live, work, and raise a family.