NEWPORT — The town of Newport recently began laying the foundation for its new public safety building.

Work on the new $3 million public safety building, which will house the police and fire departments, started once the demolition of the old building ended last month. Newport Town Manager Jim Ricker said the new public safety building should be completed in February.

“Things are moving along smoothly,” Ricker said, and once the foundation is complete, work on the floor and building frame will start.

During the construction, the Fire Department moved its equipment to the Public Works Department. The Police Department moved its operations to a storefront near Bud’s Shop and Save.

Ricker said the departments’ operations have gone well since being relocated, and both agencies are looking forward to moving into the new facility.

In March, voters approved the funding for the new public safety building.

The deteriorating structure of the old building and the growth of the two departments prompted the town to replace the public safety building.

“We had simply outgrown the facility we had,” Ricker said.

The firetrucks were too large to fit in the old bay doors, Ricker said, and the quarters became cramped for the two operations.

Outside of the growth of the two departments, Ricker said the foundation and walls started to crack and needed to be replaced. He said there were some air quality and ventilation issues in the bays.

The new two-story building will have more offices for administration, storage rooms and a repository for town records, Ricker said. Modern exhaust and ventilation systems will be installed in the garage as well as new heating systems, he said.

“Everything will be much more efficient,” Ricker said.

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