WATERVILLE — Waterville police will be out of the basement of City Hall and in new quarters by Jan. 1 if all goes according to plan.

A lot of work must be done between now and then.

The city is considering either buying and renovating the Morning Sentinel building for use as a police station or building a new one at Head of Falls.

The council on Tuesday, April 17, will vote to hire a construction company to examine the Sentinel building and develop an estimate of what it would cost to renovate it versus building new.

City Manager Michael Roy and six others on Wednesday interviewed officials from the four construction companies seeking the project.

They are Wright-Ryan Construction Inc., of Portland; AlliedCook Construction Corp., of Portland; Sheridan Corp., of Fairfield; and Nickerson & O’Day Inc., of Bangor.

The panel recommends that councilors vote to hire Wright-Ryan, Roy said Friday.

“Six of the seven (panel members) had them rated as their first choice,” Roy said. “The two biggest factors were familiarity with building other police stations and they’ve done a lot of work on that.

Secondly, their preparation for the meeting in terms of looking at the (Sentinel) building — they spent quite a lot of time before the interview, going through the building and they were ready to talk about how they would approach the examination of that option, which is very, very important to the city.”

The panel also included Council Chairman Fred Stubbert, D-Ward , and Councilor Erik Thomas, D-Ward 4;  police Chief Joseph Massey and Deputy Chief Charles Rumsey; City Engineer Greg Brown; and John Charette, of Port City Architecture.

Roy said city officials want to make sure the analysis is very thorough and competent.

The construction company approved by the council would not only do a detailed examination of the Sentinel building; it also would develop a more detailed estimate for building a new station, so the council can compare the two options, Roy said.

He said he expects the examination and development of cost estimates to take about 30 days, and the company would report back to the council by the middle or end of May.

Then the council would take a third and final vote on whether to buy the Sentinel building, for $550,000, a price both councilors and Sentinel officials agreed on a few weeks ago.

“I certainly hope that by the end of May, a decision is made,” Roy said. “Then comes preparing final work plans. That would take a month alone.”

Roy said he hopes that construction would start by August to meet the Jan. 1 goal for moving in.

Amy Calder — 861-9247
[email protected]

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