PROVINCETOWN — Those who haven’t had the chance to see the notoriously scruffy conditions at the town’s police station, housed in a former funeral home since 1986, can now peek in from the comfort of their own homes.
Provincetown is rebooting its effort to build a new police station. The town has posted two videos at provincetown-ma.gov/1111/Police-Station, one a narrated walk-through of the current station at 26 Shank Painter Road, and the other a presentation of the new station designed for the corner of Shank Painter Road and Route 6.
The first video offers a 13-minute tour of the deficiencies of the current station, including an overloaded electrical system, antiquated dispatcher equipment, and a locker room and animal control room that are both subject to repeated flooding from rising groundwater.
Two possible designs are shown in the second video, a “2019 plan” and a “2021 plan” for a new station. The interior layouts are the same, but the 2019 plan has a contemporary design meant to evoke a fishing warehouse on a pier, while the 2021 plan features design elements intended to be more traditional, including a porch-style entryway, paned windows, and both shingles and siding on the exterior walls.
The videos are accompanied by a poll. As of Tuesday evening, Sept. 28, 945 people had voted, with the 2019 concept outpolling the 2021 concept by almost three to one. The poll was set to close on Wednesday, Sept. 29 before a 5 p.m. building subcommittee meeting to consider the results.
The town is progressing towards a vote on supplementary funding for the station at the annual town meeting in April 2022. An $8.6-million bond authorization passed at the April 2017 town meeting, but plans for the station went on hold after a subsequent $3.9-million additional funding authorization failed in April 2019.
“I think we are committed to doing as much as we can between October and April to make sure voters go into town meeting having as much information as they would like to have,” Town Manager Alex Morse told the select board this week.
“I’ve gotten a fair number of people who have called me, wanting to know why the building is designed the way it is, and what the requirements are,” said board member Leslie Sandberg. “There is no dollar amount yet, but there’s a number, $15 million, floating around — it could be more, it could be less, but that’s probably about where it is.”
Sandberg and select board member Louise Venden endorsed the idea of having several public information events throughout the winter.
A new cost estimate for the current station design is not yet available. In 2019, the total cost was supposed to have been around $12.5 million, but the price of many construction materials has risen dramatically during the pandemic.