The Committee of the Whole has recommended that a Police Station Feasibility Study be conducted by FGM architects, which specializes in Police Station and Law Enforcement design. Approval of the recommendation goes before the Village Board at its meeting on Tuesday, September 2.
The first step of the study will be to re-validate the space needs and deficiencies outlined in a 2010 Space Needs Study that was done, and then develop a series of concept plans of how a new station could “best fit” within the existing municipal campus. If it is realized, during the process, that building a new police station at the municipal campus is not feasible, work will stop and location of a station will be reassessed. Throughout the process, the Village reports on vah.com that the study will be focused on cost containment measures to ensure that the best Police Station possible is built for the Department’s needs at the least amount of expense.
VIDEO: Arlington Heights – Committee-of-the-Whole – Police Station Study.
For several years the Village has planned to address the needs of the 36-year-old, 38,000-square-foot Police Station. The Village of Arlington Heights says that because the facility has become too small, has deteriorating infrastructure and lack of functionality, it no longer adequately serves the needs of a modern law enforcement agency.
The Committee of the Whole discussion on the recommendation of architectural services for the Police Station can be viewed below.
Various space-needs studies have been conducted on the Police Station. According to the official notice from the Village of Arlington Heights, the results of the study done in 2010 show that the building needs significant mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) repairs and replacement, just to maintain it as a serviceable building for the operational needs of a 24/7, 365 days a year Department.
A list of some shortcomings to be re-validated from the 2010 Study:
Roof and windows are beyond their useful lives
Facility is not handicap accessible
Facility is not compliant with current codes
Private areas are not secured from public areas
HVAC system and controls are beyond their useful life
Sally Port (controlled entryway into Police Station) safety is not adequate
Holding cells do not meet current Illinois Dept. of Corrections standards
Locker room space is inadequate for current equipment needs
Security and surveillance are deficient
Significant lack of space for a Police Department of its size
Facility beyond capacity and Police currently using a portion of the top floor of Village Hall as a forensic lab
How Village Would Finance a Police Station:
In previous budget discussions, the Village Board agreed to not spend an estimated $8.8 million needed to merely maintain the current Police facility for the next several years.
That decision by the Board put the Village in a better position to fund most, if not all, of the costs of a new station within the existing debt service level.
The Village’s debt is expected to decrease in a few years due to the expiration of some bond issues, which means that a new Police station could be financed through bonds with minimal impact on the Village’s property tax level.
More about FGM, the architectural firm:
20+ years serving Police Departments
Designed over $185 million dollars in Police Station Projects in the past decade
Designed over 840,000 square feet in Police Station Projects
Handled over 100 Police Station Projects, including seven conversion projects
Oversaw dozens of Police Station Remodeling Projects
Have over 50 Police Department clients
The Planning Process for the Police Station Project:
Understanding current needs
Setting project goals and objectives
Identifying specific project needs and budget
Creating multiple design options for selection; cost estimating
The Village of Arlington Heights an informational video that will provide an inside look at the Police Station and its shortcomings, which will be viewable on vah.com website as well as on the cable access channels. The Village will be planning various outreach programs regarding the Police Station Project as well as providing other opportunities for public input.
The Village of Arlington Heights recommends residents stay connected to learn of updates regarding the Police Station Project. To keep informed, visit the vah.com website and sign up for e-alerts to receive notice when new information on this project is posted on the vah.com website, and “please email any comments or questions regarding the project to [email protected]”