Police station plans presented to council

Study finds total cost of renovation project close to $2 million

SPD logo-1It would cost the city almost $2 million to renovate the current Stillwater Fire Department station for use as a new police department headquarters, according to a study and preliminary cost estimates presented to the City Council Tueday.
With plans to move the SFD central station from City Hall to the new Army National Guard Armory site, city officials studied renovating the old fire station into new SPD offices.

“The current law enforcement facility is less than desirable with significant deficiencies but we’ve worked and put a plan in place to correct all these deficiences, keep staff safe, our residents safe and continue to conduct our work in a professional and secure manner.” said Chief John Gannaway.

The SPD currently operates out of a 9,100-square-foot space. Renovating the current fire station would increase the SPD’s office space to about 21,000 square feet.

Joel Dunning of Wold Architects presented the plan to the council. The plan calls for a secure, better functioning space for SPD officers and staff. Also included in the plan are expanded staff parking, a better evidence storage area, expanded garage, both public and private parking spaces and a computer forensics lab.

“They didn’t ask for the world, simply what was practical,” Dunning said.

Dunning added that the improved evidence storage area was important because the current evidence intake area is separate from the storage area, creating a liability for police officers when take through a public breezeway connecting the two areas in the office.

The expanded SPD garage would fit nearly all the department’s squad cars. Having both public and private parking spaces would improve security for people making walk-in incident reports.

Total construction costs are about $1.65 million due to the remodels and connection of both the fire and police stations in addition to roof work and site improvements as well as other construction fees.

Adding fees, furniture, technology and testing costs to the renovation and the total amount for the project is $1.95 million.

The city’s goal to finish the project done and move the SPD in the new space in December 2015. Design work will start in late 2014. The project will be done in phases so both SFD and SPD operations are minimally affected.

In other action Tuesday, the council:

  • Approved the annexation a small portion of Stillwater Township along the Minnesota 36 north frontage road. The township had no objection to the annexation
  • Approved a request from Jennifer Cates Peterson to create a new lot in the 200 block of Rutherford Road. The council required Peterson show her plans to the Liberty Homeowners Association and get its approval.