As the construction of Lexington’s long-awaited new police station gets underway, Town leaders, staff and volunteers celebrated the progress of the project toward completion with ceremonial shovels at the construction site Thursday afternoon.
“This is the culmination, obviously, of a long process,” Town Manager Jim Malloy said at the groundbreaking. The new station has been in the works for more than a decade, from a space needs study in 2011 that concluded the police station did not meet the needs of a modern police force to funding approval for the roughly $35.2 million project by Town Meeting and a town-wide vote last year after pandemic-related supply chain challenges, increased labor costs and multiple delays drove up the project price tag. Relocation of the historic Hosmer House to Blossomcrest Road in November removed a final obstacle to construction of the new facility at 1575 Massachusetts Ave.
“This station will be the gold standard of a police station,” Malloy said.
“This has been an enormous effort by an enormous number of people,” Select Board Chair Jill Hai added. “We are looking forward…to what we will get to appreciate for many, many years to come.”
Police Chief Mike McLean also emphasized that collaboration has been critical to guiding the project toward completion and said the new space would benefit the community by improving the services the Police Department could offer, as previously reported. During one of the delays, when the project was paused in 2020 to allow time for community conversations about race, social justice and policing, collaborators expanded project plans in response to community feedback to include space for social and mental health workers and a designated room for de-escalation training.
Public Facilities Director Mike Cronin said he expects move-in to happen “no later than June of ’24” and “hopefully earlier.” Thanks to a mild winter to date, construction workers have been able to nearly complete the project’s foundation already. The Town has ordered materials and supplies with long anticipated lead times well in advance to keep the project on schedule, Cronin added: “We don’t want any delays for the opening.”
During construction, the Police Department continues to operate out of temporary headquarters at 173 Bedford St.
For Cronin, ribbon cuttings and groundbreakings are “always special.”
“This is the fun part of the job,” he said. “Building a building is the fun part of the job – I love it.”