Architect recommends new police station, nixes remodel
10,750 square foot building to cost $6.34 million to construct
After approving the report of Jensen, Yorba, Lott, Inc. the city council agreed Wednesday night to have councilor Sue Flint, Mayor Dwyer and the city manager lobby for design funds for the city police station when they are in Juneau next week. The council agreed it was important not to jeopardize the city’s drive-down dock funds while seeking project funds for the design of the new police station.
During discussion it was noted that the state funds allocated to build the new fire hall were designated by the legislature for public safety buildings and fire halls, and perhaps remaining fire hall funds from the Petersburg project could be allocated for designing the new police station.
Following an investigation of the current city hall building, architect Wayne Jensen of Jensen, Yorba, Lott, Inc. has recommended construction of a new police station rather than remodel the existing police and fire hall space.
The Municipal Building was designed in1958, and according to Jensen’s report, comprises space of 137 feet by 79 feet with a second story measuring 65 feet by 79 feet. The ground floor provides 10,823 square feet of space with the second floor occupying 5,135 square feet.
Concrete slabs on the ground floor of the municipal building are settling significantly by as much as 6-7 inches according to the report.
The settlement, “has created serious problems,” in the three southern sections of the building, according to the report.
Jensen writes that the concrete exterior walls are in good condition and appear to be plumb and level indicating that the foundations supporting them are sound. The roofing on the entire building was recently replaced with a well-insulated membrane system, which has a 20-year life expectancy. Exterior walls however, have little or no insulation on the walls, contributing to significant heat loss.
Due to additions made to the station, the ceilings in most of the space are only 7 feet 6 inches high.
To bring the entire building up to current structural codes required for an “essential building,” such as the police station would require significant reinforcement to allow the structure to remain operational after a disaster, according to Jensen.
To remodel the 8,848 square foot space including the current fire hall and police station would require replacing settled floor slabs except those reinforced in the fire hall several years ago to hold heavy fire trucks. The remodel could only provide for a single story police station since mechanical equipment installation and ventilation would require additional vertical space.
The boiler would also have to be replaced as is the original equipment and, “ has far exceeded its useful life,” according to the report.
“The differing floor levels in the existing structure will affect how the space can be arranged and it could mean that the efficiency of the plan would be compromised,” according to Jensen.
Jensen proposes the city build a new facility on the town-side lot on Haugen Drive next to the recently completed fire station.
“There are opportunities for sharing space and gaining efficiency by co-locating on the same property,” according to Jensen’s report.
Space allocations listed in the report outlined: 1,346 sq. ft for administration; 2,562 sq. ft. for department personnel; 1,417 for records and communications; 3,465 sq. ft. for prisoners and jail facilities and 1,758 for building services including mechanical, circulation and electrical spaces.
City Manager Steve Giesbrecht advised the city council in his manager’s report that the architect said the cost to remodel the existing facility would be about $5 million, not counting the temporary relocation of the existing facility. The initial estimate to build a new facility would be between $5 and $7 million. Giesbrecht said the cost of the jail was almost $2.5 million of the total project cost. He said the city needs to do additional work to get the price tag down.
It was noted at the council meeting that locating the PPD next to the fire station could reduce the need for additional bathrooms, training rooms and other dual use facilities common to both operations.