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Ground broken on new state police barrack

August 26, 2010|By DAN DEARTH
  • From left, Lt. David Kloos, Lt. Kelley Johnson, William Barnard, Del. Andrew A. Serafini, Liz Jones, Col. Terrence B. Sheridan, Maryland Department of General Services Secretary Alvin Collins, U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, Del. John P. Donoghue, Sen. Donald F. Munson, Teresa Long, and Brent A. Feight grab a shovel of dirt Thursday morning to celebrate the groundbreaking of the new $10.3 million Maryland State Police barrack in Hagerstown.
By Yvette May, Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN -- After being delayed for years by state budget restraints, officials broke ground Thursday morning at the site of the new Maryland State Police barrack south of Hagerstown.

The groundbreaking ceremony was held a few dozen feet from the existing barrack at 18345 Colonel Henry K Douglas Drive. About 100 people attended, including state police officials and local politicians who helped secure funding for the $10.3 million project.

Col. Terrence B. Sheridan, superintendent of the Maryland State Police, said the idea was on the drawing board for six or seven years, but there wasn't enough money to pay for it.

"All of this will enhance our ability to provide our citizens of Maryland, especially Washington County, with a much more efficient law enforcement service," Sheridan said. "This is a big step for us."

Construction of the 33,000-square-foot facility should wrap up in about 18 months, said Brent A. Feight, president of Bushey Feight Morin Architects Inc., the Hagerstown-based architectural firm that designed the building. The new brick, two-story barrack will more than triple the size of the existing structure and also house Natural Resources Police and the Office of the Maryland State Fire Marshal.

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Feight said local companies would provide most of the labor.

"I think especially in these economic times ... keeping local and to the region is absolutely beneficial to the area," he said.

Maryland State Police will continue to use the existing barrack, which is 35 years old, until construction is finished, Feight said. Shortly thereafter, the old barrack will be demolished.

Charles Miller, a forensic scientist at the barrack, said the new facility will have a larger, state-of-the-art crime lab to test drug evidence.

"We'll have more room for our equipment and more space for our analysis," Miller said.

He said the barrack probably would hire one or two more chemists to increase production.

"We're definitely understaffed," Miller said. "The more space, the more room for employees."

Del. John P. Donoghue, D-Washington, said the project shows proof that state funding is obtainable for Western Maryland.

"There is life beyond Frederick," he said.

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