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Contracts OK'd for new police site

A long-delayed new law enforcement complex in Lancaster has moved closer to reality after the Town Board approved contracts for its construction.

The board agreed to spend $6.8 million on the new Police Headquarters and Town Court building, an amount that would bring the project under its $8 million construction budget.

Work could begin by July on the complex, which also includes a shooting range where police officers will receive firearms training.

"It's going to be a state-of-the-art municipal complex that will simultaneously allow us to better serve our citizens and serve as a source of civic pride," Police Chief Gerald J. Gill Jr. said.

The Town Board voted Monday to hire four contractors for a total of $6.8 million:

*Javen Construction Co. of Penfield, general construction, at a cost of $4.6 million.

*Greater Niagara Mechanical of North Tonawanda, mechanical work, $891,300.

*Industrial Power and Lighting Corp. of Buffalo, electrical work, $828,800.

*Jim Ando Plumbing of Buffalo, $488,900.

Construction on the 27,000-square-foot facility at 525 Pavement Road and Pleasant View Drive is expected to take 15 to 18 months, said Gwen A. Howard, a senior project manager for the architects, Foit-Albert Associates.

Town officials settled on the site and design after years of debate. The town first acted in 2003, when it paid $1.3 million to buy the former Colecraft building on Walden Avenue, which was to be renovated as a new Police Headquarters.

That building, which houses the Police Department's Detective Bureau but otherwise is little used, was the subject of a lawsuit filed by town residents who objected to how the purchase was handled.

Finally, early in 2011, the Town Board decided to shift gears and build a new facility next to the existing Police Headquarters.

The town in 2011 borrowed $10 million to cover the entire project.

The town has paid $668,553 to Foit-Albert Associates for design work, including some payments to subcontractors, according to town records.