The Clayton Building Committee is hoping to address not just one need but two with a town hall expansion. Rather than just expanding the police station, the project could include a front office expansion, too.

The police station expansion would give the department its own entranceway. The front office change would give employees a larger work space. A bathroom is also included in the project.

The Building Committee met Sept. 10 to further discuss the project. Members invited engineer Ed Ide, of i3a Engineering & Construction Management, to the meeting; Ide did the blueprint of the possible expansion.

Discussions regarding the project included upgrading the heating/cooling system versus purchasing a new system, safety mechanisms in the offices, and more.

There was a suggestion of not having the front office closed in with a window like it currently is; however, there were concerns of safety. Town Foreman Jeff Hurlock said if the front office doesn't have the glass barrier, residents may be able to hear the work phone calls.

"A lot of those phone calls aren't pleasant," Hurlock said. "I don't know if we want residents hearing those conversations."

Councilwoman Mary Ellen DeBenedictis agreed with Hurlock and reiterated the importance of keeping employees safe during the work day. At times during the discussion there were questions as to where a window should go in the lobby of the police station. Some feared it wouldn't be safe for a window to be low enough to see the employee in the lobby. DeBenedictis said she was concerned because of a recent shooting at a town hall in the Poconos.

"You just don't know what people are going to do today," she said.

At this time, the group doesn't know an exact price of the project as Ide needs to reconfigure the cost to include the changes. Previously, Committee Chair Alex Dias said the police station expansion and new bathroom would cost roughly $60,000; this estimate didn't include the front office changes.

Dias said once the group has the project estimate, they'll go to bid on the project; the project has yet to go to council for approval.

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