New safety complex wrapping up within budget

New safety complex wrapping up within budget

The view of the new North Providence Public Safety Complex from across Mineral Spring Avenue at North Providence High School.
Facility goes live next Tuesday, with official opening Sept. 21

NORTH PROVIDENCE – The new North Providence Public Safety Complex is being completed on budget and with a surplus of money left over from the $60 million the Police Department won through a settlement with Google in 2012.

The ribbon won’t officially be cut on the new complex at 1835 Mineral Spring Ave. until Sept. 21, said Chief of Police David Tikoian, but police and fire personnel are preparing to move from their current headquarters to the new facility this Friday, Aug. 9. The departments will go live at the new facility next Tuesday, Aug. 13, with all phone calls going there.

“North Providence Police and Fire will be moving to 1835 Mineral Spring Ave., the home of the new North Providence Public Safety Complex,” said Tikoian. “There’s a lot of anticipation, some excitement, people are eager.”

The phone number is not changing.

“Everything stays the same,” said Tikoian.

Both the old and new buildings are now running simultaneous communication systems, as work on radio, phone and computers was completed last week to create needed redundancy leading up to the move. There are significant logistics that need to be coordinated with a move such as this, said Tikoian, with boxes already filling the hallways early this week. There’s a great challenge in coordinating between all involved parties, he said.

“The critical piece is the communication piece so the public can call in,” said the chief. “We’re still functioning as a full-service law enforcement agency.”

The final cost of construction of the new state-of-the-art complex will come in just over $26 million. Added to the $2 million or so in preliminary site work, “we are right on target” with the budget of $28 million, said Tikoian.

The department had a little more than $30 million left in Google funds prior to the project, but Tikoian wasn’t confirming whether that leaves $2 million left in funds from the settlement. The town was eligible for a portion of the winnings from Google because a local detective participated in an investigation into illegal advertising practices by the company.

No one person can do this kind of construction job alone, Tikoian told The Breeze, with help coming from all directions, including the maintenance staff and Mayor Charles Lombardi.

“I’m excited, I think that complex will be the envy of every public safety department at least in the state, if not in New England,” said Lombardi. “It’s a beautiful facility; it’s over the top. Hopefully everyone will enjoy it.”

The mayor said officials have met weekly to make sure the 20,000-square-foot complex was done on time and on budget, though the town wasn’t handcuffed by deadlines because personnel could stay in the current headquarters at 1967 Mineral Spring Ave.

He said the public is invited on Sept. 21 at 11 a.m. to see the facility and celebrate its opening.

Town Council President Dino Autiello said the pending completion of the safety complex is yet another positive sign for a town that continues to see great progress. He said he can’t believe how much positive feedback he hears from residents on the completion of both the safety complex and two new schools.

Lombardi said in addition to the project coming in on budget, he’s also excited that taxpayers will get some future tax relief through the sale of the current safety complex building.

Tikoian said there are still some minor jobs for contractor Ahlborg Construction to complete as part of a punch list of items even after safety personnel move into the new building, including touch-up paint and electrical work. All the major components and operating systems, including AC, heating and communications, have all been fine-tuned and balanced, he said.

The view of the new North Providence Public Safety Complex as seen from the sky.