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Ledge removal blows hole in Hampstead police station budget

HAMPSTEAD — The committee that planned for a new $1.6 million police station knew some ledge would need to be blasted before it could be built, but they found a lot more than anyone ever expected.

“We had figured some amount was needed for contingencies in the initial warrant article to address things such as ledge removal, but the amount was more than we had planned for. All together the blasting exceeded our contingency by $175,000,” said Steve Londrigan, a member of the police station building committee.

The additional ledge removal combined with a nasty winter has also put construction about three weeks behind schedule.

“The weather hasn’t helped at all because of the cold and the snow. The weather has just been incredible,” Police Chief Joseph Beaudoin said.

The footings will likely be installed this week and the foundation poured next week, followed by the start of building construction, Beaudoin said.

The 7,200-square-foot station approved by voters last March will be built on five acres of town land on Veterans Way. The approval came after other station proposals were defeated at the polls on four other occasions since 2007.

The building will replace the old 3,500-square-foot station on Emerson Avenue. Police have said the small outdated facility has several deficiencies, including a lack of security and holding cells.

Despite its setbacks, the new station is expected to be finished and ready to occupy by June, Beaudoin said.

In the meantime, the building committee is working with the contractor, Frank Chacoine Construction of Weare, to find a way to bring the costs back in line.

“We’ve taken a first pass at this, and we are confident we can get things back on track. We’re working through the details now,” Londrigan said.

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