Safety complex more than halfway done, still on budget

Safety complex more than halfway done, still on budget

Work is progressing on the new North Providence Public Safety Complex on Mineral Spring Avenue in North Providence. A view of the outside shows the glass-enclosed front entrance. (Breeze photos by Charles Lawrence)

NORTH PROVIDENCE – Construction of a new public safety complex at 1825 Mineral Spring Ave. is about 60 percent complete, says Chief of Police David Tikoian, and is also on pace to be on or under budget when completed this summer.

“Construction is on schedule and within budget with an estimated date of substantial completion on June 30, 2019,” he said.

The total cost of the project across from North Providence High School is still tabbed at about $28 million, including big-ticket items of $2.4 million for site work, a $22.13 million construction contract with Ahlborg Construction and $1.7 million for architect RGB. “There’s only a finite amount of money” left from his department’s $60 million in Google winnings from 2012, he said, so there’s no real option other than to keep the costs down, he said.

Tikoian said he’s still hopeful about having money left in reserve from the Google money to focus on other department priorities, including more new vehicles and further investments in the school resource officer program.

The safety complex project, which started last May, will give police and fire personnel a state-of-the-art headquarters in the center of town for decades to come.

Roofing on the project is 99 percent complete, said Tikoian, and drywall and sheetrock work is 60 percent complete. Floor tile installation started last week, as well as the installation of the exterior gray sheathing panels for the outer finish of the complex. Window installation is approximately 85 percent complete.

Tikoian said purchase orders have been processed for technology and communication equipment, including Motorola radio equipment, computer and network equipment, and fiber relocation. The award of security and access control equipment and installation is expected to be before the North Providence Purchasing Board by the end of the month.

Architect RGB is working with Purchasing Agent Michael Mooney to prepare a bid package for office furniture, to be released by Feb. 1. Both police and fire personnel will be using as much of their current furniture as practical to defray the cost of purchasing new furniture, said Tikoian.

Town officials continue to meet bi-weekly with Ahlborg Construction and RGB to address any potential issues during construction. 

“This process of bi-weekly construction meetings has proved to be time well spent, keeping the project on time and within budget,” he said.

“The project is progressing and past the halfway point,” he added. “As an agency, we have to start thinking about the physical move and the logistics involved with such an endeavor.”

The goal is to have the physical move from our department’s current location at 1967 Mineral Spring Ave. to the new complex be performed in an effective, efficient manner “with the least amount of disruption to the agency and the public we serve,” he said. “This public safety facility is something the entire town may be proud of.”

Police secured $60 million in their 2012 settlement after a local detective served on a task force charged with investigating the search giant over illegal online advertising practices. In addition to the safety complex, police have spent the Google winnings on new cars, a substation, new school resource officers, new equipment and training, among other items.

Tikoian said he’s still open to using some of the department’s remaining money to help upgrade the town’s animal shelter, as previously suggested by town officials.

Workers use cranes to lift heavy equipment into place on the side of the town’s new public safety building on Mineral Spring Avenue Monday morning.