Oak Bluffs looks to upgrade police station

Oak Bluffs is looking to bring upgrades for its police station. —Eunki Seonwoo

Oak Bluffs is looking at options to renovate or rebuild the town’s aging police station. 

The Oak Bluffs select board voted unanimously Tuesday for town administrator Deborah Potter and board chair Gail Barmakian to begin contract negotiations with Falmouth-based Keenan + Kenny Architects to conduct a feasibility study for upgrading the facility. 

The study will look at possible renovations to the current station, constructing a new building at another location, or sharing facilities with the police force in Tisbury. It will include cost estimates for each option. 

“The whole point is to give you options,” Potter told the board. She said the most recent study on the town’s police force was completed a decade ago. 

The station was built in 1965, and an assessment last year deemed it in “fair to poor” condition. The town wants to add storage space for equipment, lockers, showers, and possibly a training room. It also needs to improve access for wheelchairs.

“The police force has outgrown the facility,” Wendy Brough, the assistant town commissioner, told The Times. 

The study also will consider a potential increase in police personnel as the population grows. The department has 25 full-time staff members, although seasonal officers boost the total each summer.

The contract will not exceed $75,000. The effort was approved last year at the 2023 Oak Bluffs annual town meeting. 

The police station is located at Oak Bluffs Avenue, near the Steamship Authority terminal. 

Brough said the town will make a working group to collaborate with the architecture firm. 

A final decision on whether to proceed with one of the study’s options would require the approval of voters at town meeting.