Arlington Heights Police Station Feasibility Study Approved on Current Site with Development of Off-Campus Existing Facilities

The village board on Tuesday discussed the final recommendations from FGM Architects, a firm that has been conducting a study for nearly a year on the topic. FGM recommended a new 70,500-square-foot police station that would be built at the same site as the current police state and that would be two stories tall with a basement, along with a 10,000-square-foot indoor garage for police vehicles.

The study concluded that a new police station could be built on the current municipal campus, and Ray Lee, a principal with FGM Architects, said that answer was a “resounding yes.” He repeated, “resounding yes.” The study recommended option C.

Recommended Option “C”

70,500 Square Foot Police Station
10,360 Square Foot Indoor Parking Garage
4th Floor Village Hall for Storage (Existing for long-term evidence storage)
Off-Site Impound Lot (Public Works Site)
Fire Academy for Police Storage (Mobile Command Vehicle, Traffic Enforcement Trailers)

Trustee Thomas Glasgow was highly complimentary of Trustee Jim Tinaglia, the FGM team and the police station committee, which included village staff members, along with trustees Thomas Glasgow and Jim Tinaglia — also an architect.

Tinaglia believed nothing was compromised in the study. “That is really just a measuring stick,” said Trustee Jim Tinaglia. “We think this is a good ballpark for where we ought to be for good, solid, middle-of-the-road construction that is still high-quality.”

In the proposed plan known as Option C, the police department will use the existing fourth floor of Arlington Heights village hall for evidence storage as a way to minimize space needs at the new station. Laws mandate police departments keep evidence for some cases for 25 years or longer.

An offsite parking facility would also be developed for impounding vehicles at an existing Park District facility on East Davis Street near Northwest Central Dispatch System’s facility.

Another off-campus facility would be developed near the Arlington Heights Fire Department Training Facility near Nickol Knoll on North Kennicott Avenue

Also in the plan, police parking on campus will extend northwest along the railroad tracks, and would involve the elimination of a courtyard, just east of the large brick gazebo along Arlington Heights Road just south of the Union Pacific Railroad tracks.

Trustee Bert Rosenberg scutinized the space utilization of a large multi-purpose room that Ray Lee insisted was important for task force projects, training, and the classification as a preferred area training center for northern Illinois.

“I wouldn’t want to go any smaller,” Lee said of the conceptual designs.

Trustee Carol Blackwood scrutinized the size of the evidence collection storage. Lee said FGM was proposing about 1500 square feet with high density storage. A previous study proposed about 2600 square feet.

Blackwood also asked about shared service with the fire department next-door. Trustee Glasgow replied that confidentiality issues with police work require separate use of facilities.

Construction of the Arlington Heights Police Station plan “Option C” may cost more than $27 million. The cost does not include other costs, such as an estimated $1 million to $1.2 million for furnishings, $2.5 million to $2.7 million for fees and contingency costs, and $1.3 million to $1.5 million for temporarily relocating the police department (estimated off premise duration of two years).

The high estimate would put the cost at almost $32.5 million.

Trustee John Scaletta scrutinized the cost estimates, saying the station’s construction costs could still go up or down. He commented that the report supplied a lot of information, but does not provide specific details that pinpoint cost. Trustee Jim Tinaglia explained that the final finishing details can be costly. Tinaglia compared the police station construction cost to building a house, “the sticks and bricks are one thing, but the details in the kitchen are where it’s going to get you.”

Tinaglia said Trustee Scaletta is correct that costs could go up or down, and that trustees will still be able to examine and trim costs as the design and construction process continues. Scaletta emphasized that he wanted to know going forward what to anticipate (regarding finishing costs).

The meeting did not address the safety and security of having a police facility in close proximity to railroad tracks with the northeast corner of the proposed parking structure about 60 feet from railroad tracks. The meeting also did not address the safety and security of operating a police department using a temporary facility for an estimated two years while construction occurs at the current police station site. No possible temporary sites were discussed, but FGM’s Ray Lee mentioned that an existing empty office space would be less expensive than an open warehouse type building, where more build-out would be required.

Trustee Glasgow motioned to approve the feasibility study; Trustee Tinaglia seconded the motion.

All trustees and Mayor Thomas Hayes approved the . The motion passed, with Trustees Blackwood, Farwell, Glasgow, Rosenberg, Scaletta, LaBedz, Sidor, Tinaglia, and Mayor Hayes voting yes.

Village Manager Randy Recklaus reported that the police station committee will meet again in the next few weeks to put together a request for proposals to find an architect and construction manager for the project.

The Police Station feasibility study was commissioned to verify results from an earlier study done in 2010 that found that the current police station is beyond its useful life, The goal of the study was to find a smaller and less expensive way for the village to build a new police station.