Bigger and better
RON GOWER/TIMES NEWS Lehighton's new police station, which will be in the former Engine Company 2 building on South Third Street, will soon have construction completed. Grant Hunsicker, president of Lehighton Borough Council, said occupancy likely will occur within the next month or two. The station is named after longtime mayor and borough council member, the late Wilbur "Cap" Bauchspies. Standing in front are, from left, Hunsicker, state Rep. Keith McCall, and council member Scott Rehrig.
The Lehighton Police Department soon will be occupying its new headquarters.
Presently the station is on the first floor of the Lehighton Municipal Building. The new quarters are in the 100-year-old Engine Company 2 building of the Lehighton Fire Department. The borough owns the structure.
The new station is being named after the late Wilbur "Cap" Bauchspies, who died May 13 at the age of 81, while serving as a member the borough council.
Bauchspies had been mayor for 28 years beginning in 1969. The mayor is in charge of the police department.
He had been a member of Lehighton Borough Council for 14 years.
His wife, Bessie, is currently a member of the borough council.
The present police station is one of the smallest stations in the region, even though Lehighton has one of the largest municipal police departments in Carbon County.
The station is being erected after the borough searched for a site for years for such a facility.
Originally it was planned to put the station in the recreation center when that facility was erected over a decade ago, but those plans fell through. The borough then obtained the vacated Lehighton High School building on North Third Street and converted it into the borough annex. Plans were for the police to move there, but due to the type of government funding obtained for the renovations to the building, the police couldn't move there.
The area of the Engine Company 2 building where the police are locating had been used as a meeting room for the Lehighton Fire Department. It also was utilized by the fire department for fundraising breakfasts.
The fire department agreed to give the space to the borough because it is planning on an expansion project of its current facilities.
The bay area of the Engine Company 2 building continues to be utilized by the fire department. It's aerial truck is housed here.
The current police station is cramped and police officers have voiced concern about safety, noting it's so small that people can't pass each other without touching.
The new police station project is expected to cost $261,298.19, with financing coming from a state grant.
The general construction contractor is F. J. Lesher of Palmerton.