Proposed Public Safety Facility Building

2022 Annual Town Meeting request for funds for pre-construction documents

Proposed Building Layout

Images: Current and Proposed

335 Lincoln Street, Hingham

335 Lincoln Street, Hingham, MA 02043

Public safety buildings are inherently complicated because of the functions they need to provide for three distinct groups:

  1. Police & Fire Personnel’s daily job, 
  2. Members of the general public, and 
  3. Detained individuals in a secure environment

How these groups interact and how different zones, rooms, and the equipment stored in them are secured are the most crucial aspects in planning a public safety facility, and one that is increasingly informed by sensitive design techniques and sophisticated technologies.

From the outside, a public safety facility requires two distinct faces—one inviting and one less so. The importance of projecting a welcoming face to the community can’t be underestimated; it’s as important as the need for limited visibility in and out of the detention area. 

The new design for Hingham’s Public Safety Facility accomplishes these goals, as well as incorporating the latest design techniques to embrace climate change concerns in new construction.

Tour Our Current Police and Fire Stations

Efforts to Develop a New Public Safety Facility

  • It has been evident for many years, that the existing conditions of Hingham Police Headquarters and the North Street Fire Station do not come close to meeting  the operational requirements of a modern police facility or fire station.
  • The North Fire Station was constructed in 1942 and has had only minor repairs over its 80 year history.
  • In 1998, the Hingham Police Department moved into its current location in Town Hall. The space the Police Department occupies was built in 1967, as an addition to the old Hingham High School. The space had originally been designed for educational purposes and was never able to satisfactorily meet the special needs of a police department.
  • The Police Headquarters lost 1,500 s.f. of its already cramped and poorly planned space when the Town made a decision to locate the Emergency Communications Center serving several South Shore Communities in the space the Police were using, thereby reducing the space the Police Department could use.
  • The 2015 Town Meeting established a Fire Station Building Committee and authorized funding to design renovations to the North Fire Station. After an extensive review of the conditions at North Fire Station, the Fire Station Building Committee determined that it was not feasible to renovate North Fire Station.
  • The 2016 Town Meeting authorized funds to try to find another site to replace North Fire Station , however, after an exhaustive search, no potential sites were located that would meet the Fire Department’s requirements.
  • A 3.07 acre parcel of commercial property that was formerly part of the Hingham Shipyard, located  at 335 Lincoln Street, subsequently came on the market and the Town entered into an Option to Purchase that parcel, subject to a subsequent vote by the Town to fund the  purchase. 
  • The 2020 Town Meeting authorized the preparation of a Feasibility Study to determine if it was feasible to develop a new facility that combined a Police Headquarters and a new Fire Station on the  335 Lincoln Street  parcel.
  • The Town hired the architectural firm Kaestle Boos and Associates (KBA), to perform a Feasibility Study and conceptual design for a combined Police Headquarters/Fire Station at 335 Lincoln Street. KBA has extensive experience designing police and fire stations.
  • The 2020 Town Meeting also established the Public Safety Facility Building Committee (PSBC), to oversee the Feasibility Study and, if determined to be feasible, to oversee the design and construction of a New Public Safety Building, subject to future Town funding.
  • The 2020 Town Meeting also established the Senior Center Building Committee that was authorized to oversee the design and construction of a project to expand  the size of  the Senior Center in Town Hall to include the space that would be vacated by the Police Department,  if the plans to move the Police Department to a new facility at 335 Lincoln Street are realized.
  • In the Fall of 2020, after a preliminary determination of the size of a new Public Safety facility and a review of the existing conditions at 335 Lincoln Street, the PSBC determined that it was feasible to develop a combined Police Headquarters and Fire Station at the site.
  • At a Special Town Meeting in November 2020, the Town authorized the expenditure of $5,525,000 to purchase the 335 Lincoln Street parcel for the development of a combined Police Headquarters and Fire Station. The Town proceeded to purchase the parcel.
  • The PSBC proceeded to negotiate a new design contract with KBA that would cover all the design services that would be required on the Project, including the bid process and the administration of the construction contract, subject to funding by the Town.
  • The PSBC also solicited proposals and negotiated a contract for Owner’s Project Management (OPM) services with the firm Hill International (Hill), subject to funding by the Town. Hill is an experienced OPM firm.
  • At Town Meeting in May 2021, the Town authorized the expenditure of $1,600,000 to continue the design of the Project during the Schematic Design and Design Development Phases of the work. 
  • The design and OPM work through the Design Development Phase of the Project has been successfully completed.
  • At the 2022 April Town Meeting, the PSBC is requesting additional funding in the amount of $1,585,000 to complete the design of the Project and to prepare the bid documents that would be used to procure construction bids for the Project.
  • The Select Board and the Advisory Committee have voted unanimously to support the PSBC’s request for additional funding to allow the design to be completed.

KEY FEATURES OF THE NEW PUBLIC SAFETY BUILDING

  • The New Public Safety Building will be three stories high, with an exterior façade that reflects the industrial and nautical history of the Hingham Shipyard. The roof will be flat and the massing of the Building will be consistent with the size of the buildings in the Shipyard area.
  • During the Conceptual Design of the Building, the size of the Building was projected as being 56,525 s.f.  The PSBC, with the assistance of the Town Administrator, requested the Hingham Police and Fire Departments to undertake an intense effort with KBA and Hill, to determine if they could reduce the size and cost of the Building, wherever feasible, without compromising on the program and operational needs of both Departments.  That effort resulted in a 13% reduction in the size of the Building, which is now set at 48,290 s.f.
  • The Project includes the construction of a 2 level parking facility that will provide approximately 94 spaces for the use of the Police and Fire Departments.  The Project will also include parking lots on site for members of the public.
  • During Design Development, the PSBC and the design team have entered into preliminary discussions with the Planning Board and the Conservation Commission to review various features of the Project,  prior to the submission of formal requests to permit the Project.   The feedback from those agencies has significantly improved the design of the Project.

GREEN ENERGY INITIATIVES

  • The PSBC has made a substantial effort to incorporate in the design, the use of mechanical and electrical systems that will utilize “clean” energy sources to power the Building, wherever deemed feasible and practical. The PSBC has had a number of exchanges of ideas and information with Hingham Net Zero (HNZ) advocates and the efforts have been mutually productive. 
  • The PSBC has approved the use of heating/cooling systems for the Building that will result in approximately 93% of the square footage of the Building being heated/cooled by electricity, which HMLP ensures will be generated by clean energy sources.
  • There are several areas of the Building where the current design provides for the use of natural gas, such as providing heat in the Apparatus Bays during the winter months and providing domestic hot water to the occupants of the Building on a 24/7 basis. In those limited areas, the engineer of record maintains that the use of gas is far more preferable than the use of electric  powered equipment to quickly heat water and to quickly warm the Apparatus Bays since the large doors open and close on a 24/7 basis.
  • The PSBC has also agreed that  the areas where gas operated equipment will likely be specified,  will be constructed in a way that will allow the gas powered equipment to be replaced with electric powered equipment , when “green” technology improves.
  • The PSBC has also identified substantial areas on the roof and over the parking deck, that will be built in a manner that will make them “solar ready” for easy and quick installation of a sizeable number of solar panels. The design details to prepare a solar ready building will be worked out during the final design phases of the Project.

ESTIMATED CONSTRUCTION COSTS

  • The PSBC is employing best practices for tracking estimated construction costs as the Project moves through the different design phases.
  • The construction cost estimating procedure calls for KBA and Hill to hire independent cost estimators to provide detailed construction cost estimates after each of the Design Phases is completed. The estimates are then “reconciled” with one another to ensure that everything has been accounted for in the Construction Cost Estimate.
  • The reconciled Construction Cost Estimate at the completion of Schematic Documents was $38,573,820.
  • The reconciled Construction Cost Estimate prepared in March 2022, based on the recently completed Design Development Documents is $38,574,656.      
  • Additional Construction Cost estimates will be provided during the Construction Documents phase.

NEXT STEPS

  • If Town Meeting in April 2022 approves the PSBC’s request for funding to complete the pre-construction documents for the Project, the pre-construction documents will likely be completed during the Fall of 2022.
  • The next step would be to request Town Meeting approval for funding to construct the Project.
  • After the Construction Contract is awarded, it is estimated that construction would take approximately 18 months to complete.