Ground broken on new Millville police partnership building

Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Dignitaries gathered on Friday, June 10, to break ground on Millville’s future police building.Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Dignitaries gathered on Friday, June 10, to break ground on Millville’s future police building.Golden shovels glowed with sunshine at the groundbreaking for Millville’s future police building last Friday, as the Town of Millville begins building a town hall addition that will serve as a Delaware State Police outpost.

Construction should be done in about seven months, Mayor Robert “Bob” Gordon told the assembled crowd on June 10, which included members of the Town of Millville staff and town council, DSP, designers GMB, builders Harkins Contracting Company, representatives of the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce and more.

The Town of Millville’s goal was to get more police presence in Millville, which doesn’t have its own law-enforcement force, unlike some other nearby towns. The building will give the DSP a landing spot to help them cover the surrounding unincorporated areas of Sussex County.

After the last town hall upgrade about five years ago, the DSP was invited to use the second floor of the new space as a landing space or command center, if needed.

Now, Millville’s own staff is increasing, and they’ll have room to move upstairs, as the DSP moves into the addition next door.

The two-story addition will include interview rooms, training space, a kitchenette, car-washing bays and more. It will attach to town hall via a two-story glass lobby. The current town garage will be demolished to make room, and the new garage will have room for patrol cars and Millville’s future public works equipment.

Police can also access the building during major emergencies, such as a nor’easter.

“It’s for the Delaware State Police to bring more presence in to the town of Millville, so we had to go through a lot of security protocol,” said Morgan Helfrich, GMB vice president and senior project architect. “It’s quite a lot of security measures to keep it separate from town hall.”

GMB also designed the fire response system with an automatic Won-Door sliding fire door — one of their first in the area.

“This project has been in our minds for over two years. We knew we were going to have to expand,” said Town Manager Debbie Botchie.

If Millville ever develops its own police force, the DSP will be comfortable relinquishing that space to Millville, officials said.

“This whole project is for the current needs of Millville, and the future,” Botchie said.

The construction contract for the project was approved at $1,107,871.