Today is a landmark day for members of An Garda Siochana in Athlone as members of the force move into the completed initial phase of the refurbished facility.
The original detached two storey Garda station, which was built in 1947, is undergoing a transformation to meet with the present standards necessary to police within the local community and work on the building redevelopment, under the guidance of Kilcawley Construction, has been proceeding on schedule with the hope that the project will be completed close to the third quarter of 2020.
Speaking to the Athlone Advertiser this week, Sergeant Andrew Haran, welcomed the imminent move, as development and enhancement works continue apace.
"We are in the process of moving from the original building into phase one of the new refurbished facility and expect to be in situ on Thursday (today ). Work has now commenced on phase two of the refurbishment and is expected to last eight months in total," Sergeant Haran remarked.
Works are expected to conclude at this stage next year, with the two completely renovated buildings united by a glass atrium, a stand out feature in the redevelopment project.
With a workforce of approximately 75 in the Garda station, the new build, when completed, will boast modern operational attributes which will be of benefit to the station incumbents and have a positive impact on the local community.
The ongoing project is deemed to be the fulcrum of the evolution of the west side and coupled with news that the Athlone Tourism Cultural Quarter has been included as one of three key projects chosen for funding under the Project Ireland 2040 Urban Regeneration and Development Fund, this centralised area of the town is set for a complete revitalisation when works culminate.