On Tuesday staff will ask council to discuss allowing staff to move forward on one part of the proposed civic center needs, that of the Police Department.
The PD’s current facility is a sturdy building that is too small for the current department needs. As one who took the tour offered by the village, storage and desk space are the main shortfalls. What was once an office for one is now an office for three, evidence and records the PD is required by law to keep are scattered into several different locations.
Cramped and make do describe many areas of the building. Designed when the PD had about 70 employees, DGPD now has about 115 (I can’t find the exact number and I know I have it) department members. Formerly spacious areas are now cubicles jammed together. The HVAC does not function properly, and has defied expensive attempts to make it work right because the building is no longer configured internally as it was built.
A web-based video tour of the Police Station will be made available on the Village website on Tuesday, March 24.
The current building is 27,000 sf. From the green sheets:
- Police Station: Within the next 3-5 years as the Village’s financial position allows, design and construct a new Police Station on the west portion of the existing Village-owned Civic Center site (currently used for commuter parking). The size of the facility will be approximately 70,000 square feet with a total price currently estimated at $33.5 million.
- Village Hall: Maintain the existing Village Hall facility for a period of at least 10 years. Major system maintenance and repair is estimated not to exceed $500,000 over the 10-year period.
- Counseling and Social Services: Evaluate future use of the facility at the time of the design phase for the Police Station, as the current site may be required for Police Station construction. If this is the case, consider relocation of departmental service to another Village facility or alternate location.
- Fleet Services Garage: Maintain the existing facility for a period of at least 10 years. Major system maintenance is estimated not to exceed $100,000 over the 10-year period.
At 70,000 sf, that’s a big building. At $33.5 million, that’s a lot of money. Here’s how the space study broke it down in net square feet of need:
- 4,540 Public area including lobby, meeting rooms, interview rooms, and public restrooms.
- 2,054 Records storage.
- 1,870 Village Operations Center (VOC).
- 3,762 Patrol Division and Emergency Management.
- 2,498 Investigations Division.
- 5,740 Evidence storage.
- 2,340 Administration. This includes, according to past planning documents, “a closet” for Chief Porter. I would note Chief Porter’s office, at a projected 280 square feet (including “the closet”) is smaller than Fire Chief Phil Ruscetti’s office at the Fire Department. I’m not trying to start anything between our two top safety officials, not saying size of office says anything about the relative importance to the community. Just sayin…
- 1,102 DARE/COP/Crime Prevention.
- 5,380 Training and firearms practice range.
- 3,790 Detention and booking area. This includes the “Sally Port” area where detainees can be transferred from police vehicles in a secure area.
- 6,160 Shared staff area. Locker rooms, break room, workout room, staff entrance.
- 1,120 Archival storage.
- 12,600 Indoor parking. Due to the slope of the site, this will be underground and exit to Curtiss Street.
If you’re counting, that’s about 53,000 square feet of need. Given that DG isn’t going to grow much size wise in the future, this can be considered a final needs space. The space needs do not include hallways or stairways.
Staff has indicated in the past that two sites were under consideration for the PD. The industrial area Ellsworth Park site (that would have to be purchased) appears to have fallen to the wayside. Placement is at the primary site, the 69 space parking lot to the immediate west of the current Police Department.
Click on the image to the right and note the blue and green areas. This was the favored location for the entire civic center facility; the green and blue areas are for the PD. The actual size and shape of any building will not be exactly like this, but it gives you an idea of scale, and if they place it on the site properly, it would still leave space for future needs, that can still be accomplished at a future date, by adding on to the north side, and adding a parking deck that can be used for multiple purposes. For this new PD facility, commuters will lose some parking, employees will lose some parking, and Social Services will probably have to move.
Staff has also committed to shooting for LEED silver certification. LEED silver will add about $20,000 to the front end cost of building for certification, and adding to the cost of some components, like high efficiency insulated glass for example. It saves money at the back end, which has been well established by hundreds of completed projects around the country. Cost/benefit analysis of green building find a front end investment of less than two percent of construction costs yields life cycle savings of over ten times the initial investment.
Stormwater requirements have changed since the original civic center buildings were put into place. there’s a 36 inch diameter concrete pipe that carries St. Joe’s Creek under the property that will cause some problems working around. From the PSA Dwberry Study:
Additionally, stormwater management creates a significant challenge. Planning calculations indicate that as much as 2.56 acre-feet of runoff storage may be needed (See Section 2.4 Storm Water Regulations). The actual storage amount could vary widely based on the type, development and methodology required to determine stormwater run-off and storage. This runoff potentially could be stored through detention ponds, underground storage (enlarged pipes), parking lots, roof tops or a combination of these. The Village could consider the use of porous materials for the parking lots to reduce run-off coefficients. This storage volume is for planning purposes only. It suggests that the need for storm water detention may have an important impact on the redevelopment of the campus site.
Storing water in pipes is not a best management practice when dealing with stormwater. On site mitigation with bioswales and rain gardens, along with use of permeable surface coverings and extensive plantings (especially trees), all do a better job slowing, cleaning, and absorbing water than simply holding it for later discharge as is. A green roof on the new PD facility would be a huge benefit not just for mitigation and cleaning, but for cooling the building in general. Visit the Lyman Woods interpretive center for more information on this; you will be amazed. Or google green roof and learn.
How do you finance a $33.5 million dollar public works project given the current situation? Staff recommends 30 year bonds that would require an annual debt service of $2.2 million dollars for 30 years. That appears to assume a 5% interest on issued bonds, and would bring the Total Interest Cost (TIC) payback up to about $66 million. The same amount over a 20 year period would require an annual debt payment of about $2.6 million, resulting in a TIC payback up about $53 million, a downstream savings of $13 million to taxpayers.
Although no rationale has been put forth so far on why 30 years instead of 20, since this could rightly be considered a “final” PD, spreading the cost that far out makes a certain amount of sense. One of the principles behind municipal borrowing is to spread the cost of expensive projects over many years in order to capture payments from all who will benefit from the initial expense. Since residents 30 years from now will still benefit from an effective, efficient, and happy police force, they can help pay for the building that helps make that possible.
Note that the total construction costs of the PD facility are actually more in the area of $26 million, as outlined on page 4 of the green sheets. staff managed to come in on the $10.2 million FS#2/admin building almost $1 million under budget. I can’t say there are similar savings that can be realized, but if this project moves forward, any innovative cost savings measures that don’t compromise long term usability of the building should be looked at, and probably will be looked at. Village Manager Dave Fieldman and AVM Mike Baker are proving to be fiscally conservative and hawkish, not a bad thing to encourage.
So where does the village find $2.2 million a year for 30 years or $2.6 million for 20 years, when they’re laying off and chopping back right now? Good question. If council wants to talk revenue, will red light cameras be part of the revenue discussion (I hope DG has moved past any safety pretense on RLC)? Will this trigger another round of talk of raising fees, and creating new fees? Council tries to attach a dedicated revenue stream to bond issues. that’s responsible, and that should continue. Expect at least some discussion at some point about that sticky wicket.
This is the front edge of discussion on the topic. The needs analysis has been done for a couple years now, the village offered tours to residents so they could see first hand the situation, and as stated above, there will be a web-based video tour of the Police Station will be made available on the Village website on Tuesday, March 24.