Pittsfield is expected to pick a firm to do a feasibility study for a new police station.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Four companies had submitted proposals to do a feasibility study of a new police station.
The city is paying $30,000 for a firm to develop location options, departmental needs and cost estimates. The study is the first step toward building a new station, which has become a greater focus as officers continue to work out of the 74-year-old Allen Street building.
On Thursday, the city's Purchasing Department accepted four bids: Caolo & Bieniek Associates of Chicopee, Jacunski Humes Architects of from Berlin, Conn., Dore & Whittier Architects of Newburyport and Kaestle Boos of Foxborough.
The proposals will be reviewed by an evaluation committee consisting of Chief Michael Wynn, two other representatives from the Police Department, a representatives from city's Community Development Department and a representative from the Police Advisory Committee.
The committee hopes to at least narrow the proposals down to a short list in the next two weeks, if not enter a contract. A time line after that has not been set.
The city has made the station a priority in recent years, starting when then Mayor James Ruberto took former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, who at the time was sitting on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, on a tour through the station.
A change in political leadership has not swayed the focus — Mayor Daniel Bianchi led U.S. Sen. Edward Markey through the station in August along with Wynn and Sheriff Thomas Bowler.
Meanwhile, the Police Advisory Committee reformed and has done research on its own, including touring newly built police stations as well as the city's station.
Officers have cited a lack of space that hinders their ability to perform their jobs. The building had once housed social service agencies is no longer suitable for a police facility because of building code issues, including the lack of handicapped access, the addition of women officers and staff, training and technology needs, the use of cruisers and security issues.
Nonetheless, money had not been allocated to begin the process until this fiscal year.