First Selectman: Police, Board of Ed Doing ‘Walkthroughs’ at Elm Street Office Building

New Canaan Police on Monday walked through the Elm Street office building that’s the town’s highest elected official has said could serve as a future department headquarters, and the Board of Education is slated to do its own walkthrough there during the first week of September, officials said Tuesday. First Selectman Kevin Moynihan has developed and championed the idea of New Canaan purchasing the 28,000-square-foot “Covia” building at the corner of Elm and Grove Streets as a future home for both the police and school district’s administrative offices—a move that would be financially feasible, he has said, if the current NCPD building on South Avenue could be sold to a developer who would preserve the historic structure, possibly for conversion to senior housing. “We are going to evaluate,” Moynihan said of the town’s hard look at the Covia building during a regular meeting of the Board fo Selectmen. “Assuming the conclusion is it works for the police and that the Board fo Ed believes it works for them, we would then during September do the financial analysis as to whether we want to recommend that choice as opposed to renovating [the current police headquarters],” Moynihan said at the meeting, held in Town Hall. “A lot of that will depend on what we can do with the South Avenue building, because the net cost would be substantially less than renovating the police building for that purpose.

First Selectman: New Canaan ‘Very Interested’ in Acquiring Downtown Office Building for Combined Police, Board of Ed Headquarters

New Canaan is “very interested” in acquiring an office building on the corner of Grove and Elm Streets, the town’s highest elected official said Thursday, and installing the Police Department and Board of Education there within a few years. 

Known to many as the ‘Unimin Building’ after the company that owns and occupies it—a company that is now is part of an Ohio-based business called ‘Covia’—the structure has been looked at by an architect “and it is very feasible to move both the Police Department and Board of Education” in, according to First Selectman Kevin Moynihan. The town likely would purchase the 28,000-square-foot building at 258 Elm St. and lease it back to Covia while the company relocates its employees over a period of up to three years, Moynihan said. 

Those three years “will give us plenty of time to plan and probably begin some of the construction for the police department in the garage while they are in the building,” he said, referring to installation of jail cells. “They are definitely moving and the town is very interested in acquiring the building and we have to first of all complete the process of the due diligence of whether it works,” Moynihan said in response to a question from during a media briefing in his office that also included representatives from New Canaan News and It would cost New Canaan about $2 million to “retrofit” the building for its new municipal uses, Moynihan said.

First Selectman ‘Intrigued’ by Idea of Purchasing Unimin Building on Elm Street, Relocating Police Department, District Offices

The town’s legislative body on Wednesday night approved a $500,000 bonding package designed to help plan for a renovation of the New Canaan Police Department, though the municipality’s highest elected official said the question of whether or not to follow through with the project is uncertain. Even though members of the Town Council at their regular meeting voted 12-0 to approve funds for design, engineering and consulting services for police headquarters, First Selectman Kevin Moynihan told during an interview prior to the meeting that he was “intrigued” by the prospect of relocating the New Canaan Police Department to a prominent office building on Elm Street, negating the need for that renovation. Unimin first put put its building at 258 Elm St.—on the corner of Grove Street, overlooking the Lumberyard Lot—on the market 18 months ago. The industrial mineral producer has said it employs 100 to 110 people in the structure. “I am intrigued by the Unimin building but we don’t know yet whether it could accommodate a Police Department,” Moynihan said.

Unimin Seeks To Sell Its Elm Street Building, Home for 33 Years

Unimin, an industrial mineral producer, is planning to sell the three-story building it has occupied in downtown New Canaan for 33 years, officials say. The company is starting to outgrow its office space at 258 Elm St. and officials are “exploring opportunities including the possibility of a new open floor plan,” according to North America Communications Manager Mariane Ceballo. “The new campus we select will reflect our organizational ambitions in growth, promote an open company culture—as well as collaboration—and drive greater efficiencies in how we serve our customers,” Ceballo told in an email, responding to an inquiry on the building’s status. She added: “We anticipate selling the building to provide capital flexibility for our growing business.”

Unimin officials said the company cannot find what it’s looking for in New Canaan and therefore is moving out of town.