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Newtown Township eyeing new police station


At an August meeting of the board, Newtown Township Supervisors unanimously approved a proposal from KCBA Architects in the amount of $14,680 to study the township’s police department.

Specifically, the company will be looking at the usage and function of the township’s current police station on Durham Road. Based on its findings, KCBA will recommend what the force could use in a new facility from a size and cost standpoint.

The township has been exploring possible upgrades to its police facilities for some time as its current station is about 20 years old. It formally served as the Newtown Township Building before being repurposed when the township’s new municipal complex opened next door.

KCBA, based out of Hatfield Borough in Montgomery County, specializes in municipal developments such as police and fire facilities.

According to its website, KCBA services include facility analysis and master planning, architectural design, sustainable design, campus security consulting, structural engineering, and interior design.

Police Chief John Hearn previously said the current police station in Newtown is not up to the needs and standards of the force. It has a lot of small rooms and corridors that make it more difficult for the police department to operate smoothly. Because of this, the township started exploring alternatives.

“KCBA is going to give us an overall analysis of the square footage that a police department of our size needs for evidence protection, workspace, locker room capabilities, and kitchen areas,” Hearn said during a budget discussion in late 2022.

At this month’s meeting, Manager Micah Lewis explained that the township received two bids for the project study, although one was significantly cheaper.

“We received two proposals from two qualified firms and we had allocated $20,000 under the capital plan in the 2023 budget for this project,” Lewis said. “The first quote was for $24,500 and the second was for $14,680. So with that being said, it would be appropriate to consider authorization to approve the proposal from KCBA Architects in the amount of $14,680 for the police building study.”

Supervisor Phil Calabro asked why one of the quotes was so much higher than the other.

“There is a ten thousand dollar difference between the two proposals,” he noted. “I’m assuming what they want to do is all apples to apples, so is there a reason why there was such a large gap in prices?...I just want to make sure that who we are appointing to do this is going to perform the proper duties to take care of what we want done...”

In response, Lewis said, “Both of them met the requirements of the request for proposal (RFP) of what we were asking of them but the one gave a $10,000 credit towards the architectural design of the building in the future and one did not.”

Chairman Dennis Fisher added that this credit helped to even out the project quotes but in the end, the township decided to go with KCBA.

The firm will compile a report for the board in addition to a formal plan to develop a new police station. The township would then decide whether to move act on it.

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