Local Government and Politics, News, Police/Fire

Swampscott seeking reuse for former police station

The town of Swampscott has started entertaining bids on leasing the former police station. (Olivia Falcigno)

SWAMPSCOTT — The Town of Swampscott is looking for tenants to lease the former police station on Burrill Street.

The Swampscott Police vacated the building in 2013 to move into its new headquarters on Humphrey Street. It had occupied the Burrill Street structure, located among a row of municipal buildings, including the public library and Swampscott Town Hall, for 75 years.

“All of these organizations and facilities each offer a unique service to the community,” said Town Administrator Sean Fitzgerald. “Situated close to Town Hall, the Library, Post Office, Fire Station, and ReachArts, we envision a use that can really provide additional community benefit in a creative way.”

The town is open (to all suggestions and bids),” said Marzie Galazka, the town’s Director of Community and Economic Development. “We want to hear from residents, those in the non-profit world … we’d like to hear their proposals for this structure.

“We have this vacant building in the center of a municipal complex. There’s a lot of foot traffic. It’s close to the train station. So we are open to hearing from the community.”

At a meeting last month, the Swampscott Select Board voted unanimously to authorize Galazka’s office to issue a Request for Interest (RFI) for parties to submit a proposal envisioning a potential use for the facility.  

The RFIs will inform the board and Fitzgerald about some of the proposed options for reuse for the site. 

It will also help enable the town to gain a wider understanding of the civic, non-profit, and private interest in the space, Fitzgerald said.

The majority of the building on Burrill Street has been vacant since 2013, although Cataldo Ambulance Services occupies the rear portion, and the Swampscott’s Historical Commission uses part of the first floor as a storage area and meeting space.

Galazka said the building needs improvements, especially with restrooms and other plumbing and carpentry matters. 

“There are some access challenges,” she said, one of them being the lack of an elevator, which makes only the first floor of the building (it also has a basement and second floor) handicapped accessible at the present time.

“The good part, though, is that we’ve reached out to Essex Technical School (in Middleton) and the plumbing inspector there was able to look at the site. He said the school would be interested in doing some of the work.”

Galazka would like to see whether she could extend that partnership with the school’s carpentry shop.

“We are trying to be as creative as we can as to how we could assist making these improvements.”

While she mentioned non-profits, Galazka does not limit the tenants to them specifically.

“This is a corridor that has a lot of municipal uses,” she said, “but the town is interested in receiving proposals for any parties.”

Once responses have been received and reviewed, the Town will use that information to issue a formal Request for Proposals (RFP). Responses to the RFI are due on March 3.  

The next pre-submittal meeting and tour of the property will be on Feb. 25 from 3-5 p.m.  The public is welcome and encouraged to attend and share ideas for the reuse of this important property. 

 

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