Hat­boro coun­cil pre­sented with fa­cil­i­ties study

Public Spirit - - FRONT PAGE - By Caitlin Burns

cburns@jour­nalregis­ter.com

Bor­ough build­ings could have ren­o­va­tions coming soon. Hat­boro Bor­ough Coun­cil heard the re­sults of the fa­cil­i­ties study con­ducted by town plan­ner and land­scape ar­chi­tect com­pany Thomas Comitta As­so­ci­ates Inc. dur­ing the reg­u­lar coun­cil meet­ing Feb. 25.

Com­pany Pres­i­dent Thomas Comitta told the board and pub­lic that ren­o­va­tions were pos­si­ble in all the build­ings to make them PRUH HI­fiFLHnW DnG WhHy didn’t have to de­mol­ish the old and start anew.

“We asked our­selves the ques­tion,” Comitta said about when the fa­cil­ity study started, “how would all the fa­cil­i­ties all com­pli­ment each other?”

The to­tal amount for reno- va­tions, Comitta es­ti­mated, would be $2.7 mil­lion and would not in­clude the ex­penses of mov­ing or pur­chas­ing fur­ni­ture and the cost of mov­ing the district FRuUW IURP VHFRnG flRRU RI Bor­ough Hall to the an­nex, lo­cated ad­ja­cent to it in Vic­to­rian Vil­lage. It also does nRW LnFOuGH Ln­flDWLRn FRVWV Ln coming years

The study looked at ren­o­va­tions for Bor­ough Hall, the ad­ja­cent Bor­ough Hall An­nex, pub­lic works de­part­ment, po­lice de­part­ment and the bor­ough parks. The only new build­ing Comitta sug­gested was a 40- by 90-foot build­ing in Ea­ton Me­mo­rial Park to house large equip­ment used by pub­lic works that would have a 40- by 20foot amp­ithe­ater at one end as a park amenity. Th­ese

Th­ese would be lo­cated where the former ten­nis courts were.

“I was struck that there are some pos­si­bil­i­ties in Ea­ton Me­mo­rial Park,” Comitta said. “There’s plenty of el­bow room in that park.”

By mov­ing the large equip­ment, which is cur­rently lo­cated at the build­ing shared by pub­lic works and Hat­boro po­lice, the de­part­ments could rearUDnJH RI­fiFHV DnG H[SDnG IDFLOLWLHV WR EH PRUH HI­fiFLHnW. CRPLWWD VDLG UHnRvD­tions for the pub­lic works de­part­ment could in­clude ad­di­tional in­door and out­door park­ing, the cre­ation of sec­ond flRRU RI­fiFH VSDFH DnG Dn H[SDnVLRn RI the men’s and women’s rest rooms and shower ar­eas.

The po­lice de­part­ment would see ma­jor ren­o­va­tions in the way peo­ple are es­corted through the build­ing when ar­rest- ed. Comitta said cur­rently po­lice have to park in front of the build­ing and es­cort ar­rested in­di­vid­u­als up the front steps and through the main area of the po­lice sta­tion to the hold­ing area.

Po­lice Chief James Gard­ner said this is an un­com­mon way to take peo­ple to hold­ing ar­eas and cre­ates se­cu­rity chal­lenges. Af­ter ren­o­va­tions, po­lice will be able to pull into the garage, close and se­cure the garage door and then es­cort ar­rested in­di­vid­u­als di­rectly into the hold­ing area with­out hav­ing to go through the po­lice sta­tion.

Ad­di­tion­ally, the po­lice sta­tion would see ren­o­va­tions with ad­di­tional park­ing and the re­lo­ca­tion of the emer­gency man­age­ment co­or­di­na­tor from Bor­ough Hall to the sta­tion.

Comitta said Bor­ough Hall’s main ren­o­va­tion is mak­ing a “more grace­ful” en­trance into the build­ing. Cur­rently, vis­i­tors can en­ter from the side and use signs to di­rect them­selves around or they can en­ter up the steps and through WhH PDLn HnWUDnFH whHUH WhH RI­fiFHV are lo­cated. Comitta sug­gested di­rect­ing all vis­i­tors to the side en­trance of BRURuJh HDOO DnG UHDUUDnJLnJ RI­fiFHV to cre­ate a re­cep­tion area. This would in­clude plac­ing re­cep­tion win­dows by the en­trance.

With the move­ment of Hat­boro’s district court to the an­nex in Vic­to­rian Vil­lage, which is es­ti­mated to hap­pen later in the year, Comitta said it opens op­por­tu­ni­ties for the bor­ough to use the VHFRnG flRRU DV RI­fiFH VSDFH.

Comitta said the com­pany did the fa­cil­i­ties study in a “prac­ti­cal way” that LV PRVW HI­fiFLHnW Ln FRVW DnG VSDFH. HH said the next step will be for coun­cil to vote on sug­ges­tions and hire a lo­cal ar­chi­tect to put to­gether con­struc­tion doc­u­ments. Comitta said once the board has de­cided to move for­ward it can start look­ing at grants to fund the ren­o­va­tions.

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