By Jeff Gallatin
City officials are happy to get work underway on nearly $500,000 in renovations to the police station while the weather is good.
Workers from Lakeland Management Systems of Painesville began work this week on interior renovations of the police station. It is the second phase of work that began last year with exterior work and making the station more compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Officials had planned to get the second phase underway a few weeks ago, but decided to rebid the project when the initial bids came in way over the design architect’s estimates for the renovations.
North Olmsted planning and development Director Kim Wenger said Lakeland’s bid of $434,100 was more within what city officials had planned for the project.
“It was still about $10,000 over the initial projections from the architect, but it’s still well within the $500,000 we budgeted for,” she said. “That amount was set to help deal with any project cost changes during the course of the work.”
Wenger said project officials now have a scheduled completion time in February.
“Anytime you project finishing work during a northern Ohio winter, it has the potential to be difficult, but we’ve done what we can to help move the work forward,” she said. “The service department stepped forward and did some of the work on their regular shifts that didn’t have to be done by the contractor, and we still should be able to get a lot of work done before the weather gets bad.”
Safety/service Director Scott Thomas said the police department has been making preparations for dealing with construction going on at the station while officers and other employees work.
“Workers in the department are pretty excited about the coming changes, since they’ll be getting upgraded facilities,” he said. “They did some of the small work themselves, and if any department has to deal with disruptions and out-of-the-ordinary situations, a police department certainly is prepared for getting work done while something unusual is going on around them.”
Thomas noted the primary work this year is in the interior of the building, which should help since the work will extend into the winter months.
“Anytime you’re working during winter months, it can be difficult, but the conditions should be easier than if they were working exclusively outside,” he said.
Thomas and Police Chief Jamie Gallagher said with work being done to the locker room areas, including providing better facilities for female officers as well as upgrading public areas and space for officers, the station is getting a needed upgrade.
“It’s something we’ve needed to do for a while since the station was done around 1973,” Gallagher said. “We’re looking forward to the better facilities for the officers and staff and making the area for the public more ADA accessible and making it easier for everybody to get around is a logical move.”
Thomas said the end result will make everybody happy.
“It will make it a better facility for everybody, so if we have to put up with a little inconvenience for a while it will be worth it in the end when we get a much better station,” he said.