SCITUATE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Scituate Town Council made a motion Thursday to appeal the demolition order of the former Scituate Police Station and instead convert it into disabled veteran housing.
“It’s a wonderful solution to a difficult situation,” Scituate resident Tim McCormick said.
The station was shut down in September due to structural concerns after testing revealed high levels of lead, asbestos, mold and radon in the building.
Scituate Town Council voted unanimously at a September meeting to vacate the building and temporarily relocate personnel to trailers.
The Town Council then discussed either to renovate or demolish the building, per order of the building inspector.
“At that point, some of the councilors spread the email around town and rumors spread like wildfire,” Councilman Scott Amaral said.
Many residents argued the station was a historic site, and expressed their concerns about demolition. During Thursday’s meeting, Council President John Mahoney said state and national records he found also recognized the station as a historic property.
The town council made a motion Thursday night to request an extension on the demolition order, while it works to finalize details on a permanent solution for the building. Council President Mahoney said the council is looking at renovating the station into a facility for local disabled veterans.
“There’s such a major problem out there with our veterans sleeping on the streets and this housing would be perfect to put them in,” Town Councilman Scott Amaral said.
Some believe the council had a last-minute change of heart in regard to these new plans.
“I just think it [initially discussing demolition] shows a lack of sensitivity to the traditions of the town. I think they need to be a little closer and vet these things with the residents beforehand,” McCormick said.
The council now has a matter of days to request an extension on the demolition order from the building inspector in order to move forward with potential renovation plans.
“We can’t guarantee it will stay,” Amaral said. “We’re working toward that and hoping for that.”