At the Osseo City Council meeting on Monday, February 24, 2014, representatives from Buetow 2 Architects, Inc. presented finalized concept plans for the addition to City Hall to house the Osseo Police Department. The approved plans represent years of studies and review of multiple sites to potentially house a new Police Department Headquarters.
The schematic design calls for a 3,500 square foot footprint addition to be attached to City Hall, located where the current parking lot sits to the west of the building. The footprint includes just over 1,000 square feet for a 3-vehicle garage to keep Osseo emergency vehicles out of the elements, which will enter out onto 5th Street NW. The remaining 2,500 square feet will include a booking/intox area, multiple offices for the Chief of Police and other Officers, conference space, and a reception/waiting area.
Additionally, the plans make use of three key existing features found in the current City Hall building. The first is the elevator, located just inside City Hall. Elevators are needed in public facilities to make all floors accessible to the general public. Elevators represent one of the largest budget items when looking at constructing a new public facility, or re-purposing an existing building for public use. The second key feature is the available storage space, located on the bottom level in City Hall. A large storage space will be re-purposed and used for a men’s and women’s locker room, police armory storage, and an evidence room. Even with the re-purposing of the available space, there is enough remaining space for city storage. The third key feature is the restrooms located in City Hall.
The current Police Department facility will be demolished as a result of the addition, and the City Hall parking lot will be reconfigured, allowing for a few more additional spaces once re-striped. The Department has been located in a cramped, deteriorating 51-year-old house for nearly 20 years. Originally meant to serve as a temporary location for the Department, the Police wound up using the old house indefinitely, after plans for future locations were scrapped. But the current City Council decided that this was the time to find the Police a new home.
Several different locations throughout the city have been discussed over the past few years, including purchasing an existing location away from City Hall and retrofitting it to suit the needs of the Police Department. Other concepts included adding it to the first level of the recently approved 5 Central plans as well as constructing a new stand-alone building where the existing Police building is now. However, all of these concepts included large price tags, something the Council was very wary of. Council Members are charged with spending taxpayer money in the most cost effective way possible. The approved plan to add on to City Hall accomplishes that goal, as it is the cheapest option on the table while still providing the essential tools the Police Department needs in order to provide top notch public safety.
The architect will now begin designing construction plans for the addition, which is expected to be completed in late April. After the construction documents are received and reviewed, the construction bid will be awarded in May, with an eye towards construction beginning in late May or early June. Following a five to six month construction time frame, the new Osseo Police Department addition could be ready for use as early as mid-October 2014.
Riley Grams, OsseoCity Planner