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New police station part of building study

May 19, 2014

Muskego — More costs are now known and the Muskego Common Council is poised to consider facilities needs that could conceivably mean a new and larger police station and major renovation of the City Hall.

Last week, the estimated construction costs of the various options were teased out of the total costs and the nonconstruction costs such as furnishings were detailed enabling the council to decide whether all the estimated soft costs are actually needed.

For example, a new police station somewhere else has a total estimated cost of $12.9 million, of which only $9 million is actual construction. The rest includes such things as buying a new site, moving all the police equipment and furnishing the station.

"This was the full detail," Mayor Kathy Chiaverotti said.

"I think we've got to move forward, the council has the knowledge," she said after the meeting. Discussions will start at the next Committee of the Whole meeting that has room on its agenda, she said. "But it certainly doesn't mean anything is going to happen next year."

The city just needs to take a long-term approach so that it can budget properly, she said.

The study done by Zimmerman Architectural Studios covered not only the Police Department, but the City Hall, the library, the Department of Public Works and the various buildings of Parks and Recreation.

Chiaverotti noted that the study has already warned of unwelcome surprises.

Last year's original Zimmerman study that formed the basis for this more detailed format presented last week cautioned the city not to put more money into the Horn or Jensen buildings used by the Park and Recreation Department.

"The study says we should not invest another dime, and low and behold Horn turns up with a structural issue and we had to close part of it," Chiaverotti said.

The study recommends demolishing both Horn and Jensen buildings, although preserving comfort stations at both for those using the parks.

With so many options, architect John Sabinash, a principal in Zimmerman, advised thecouncil, "The Police Department is the logical one to address because it has the biggest need in terms of space."

A building addition could be built for an estimated $4.9 million, the report says. The department lacks an adequate lockup which could be provided for $1.66 million, Sabinash estimates. The other major problem is that many police vehicles must be stored outside because there isn't enough room in the police garage. A garage addition would cost $585,120, he estimates. All are just construction estimates and don't include soft costs.

Building a new police station somewhere else could cost roughly $12.9 million, including soft costs, he said.

If that is the course the council chooses, Sabinash recommends looking into moving the vehicle maintenance for Park and Recreation into the old station. Space is sometimes tight at the current maintenance building on Pioneer Drive near the police station, according to the facilities report.

If the Police Department stays where it is, the Park and Rec maintenance could be moved to the Department of Public Works site, W189 S8235 Mercury Drive, the report suggests. That would enhance maintenance efficiency but the DPW site would become fairly tight, Sabinash said.

"We would be done there without acquiring land," Chiaverotti said.

The Public Works building itself also could use an addition for more vehicle storage, the report says. That addition might run $7.1 million, but could be $8.8 million with Park and Recreation, the report estimates.

Security recommendations for the City Hall come in small, medium and large sizes. The small program ($496,146) consists of cameras and some limits on access to the interior of the building. The medium fix ($1.2 million) involves all that plus having city personnel escort visitors to the department they wish to visit. The third fix ($2.1 million) is all of that plus moving the Common Council chambers from the lower level to the first floor and rearranging departments, putting some downstairs.

Finally, Sabinash estimated the cost of moving both the police station and City Hall to the library site, adding more land to create a civic campus at up to $17.5 million.

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