DANVILLE — General contractor Miller Brothers Construction has started excavating the site of the new $1.9 million Danville Police Station on the playground of the former Danville Elementary School, at East Front and Iron streets.

The crew began excavating on Sept. 30, said Jackie Hart, borough director of code and building development.

They are working on pouring footers for the one-story building, which covers 9,673 square feet.

Police Chief Eric Gill said the new station will be at least double the space of the current station, along Mill Street, which covers 3,000 square feet plus has basement storage.

The police department, which is next to the municipal building, has to move since the building housing the department was sold. The borough pays a monthly rent to the owners.

Hart said the general contractor also designed the project and will prepare drawings of the police building. 

There will be two parking areas — one on the Iron Street side for the public and a lot near Railroad Street for employees and police, which already exists.

She said a substantial amount of work should be done by March 1 on the station.

Gill said the police have been housed where they are, in a former bank, since the early 1990s. 

"Anyone who has ever been in here can see how jam-packed it is," he said.

Besides Gill, the department has seven other full-time officers and a part-time officer was recently hired.

Gill hopes they will have eight full-time officers by the time they move to the new location.

Miller Brothers was awarded a design and building contract for the project. The firm wasn't the low bidder. T-Ross Bros. was the low bidder with a quote of $1,749,000.

Hart recommended they approve Miller Construction because its bid was very itemized with good brands for fixtures, heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment that she said would result in efficiency and low-maintenance. She said the Miller firm would do excavating for generators, signs and electric service to the building.

She said the Miller company planned a larger electric system to be zoned efficiently for office and storage areas that should result in heating and cooling cost savings.

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