NORTH LIBERTY — After more than two years of planning, construction will begin Thursday on the new North Liberty police station with a groundbreaking ceremony.
Once completed, city spokesman Nick Bergus said the $5.75 million, 16,000-square-foot facility “will give our police department the space they need to operate and do their jobs, and serve the community as it continues to grow.”
The North Liberty Police Department operates out of a 2,600-square-foot building at 5 E. Cherry St. That building previously served as a farmhouse, a pediatrician’s office and City Hall.
The new police facility — at Cherry and Main streets — is the first phase of what ultimately will become a civic campus, Bergus said, which will include a city hall.
In 2017, the City Council approved $5 million in general obligation bonds for the project. That figure was increased to $5.75 million after last December’s bid from Tricon Construction Group came in at $5.567 million, about $1 million more than originally expected.
In addition to allocating more funding, Bergus said the city also has identified and approved design alterations that would cut some of the cost, including eliminating covered parking and some decorative elements and changing the building facade from stone to brick. The city also opted to eliminate a planned Dubuque Street entrance, reduce the number of window sunshades and trim the height of the sally port.
Police Chief Diane Venenga previously has told The Gazette that the police department has outgrown its facility, which lacks appropriate meeting, storage and parking space.
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“Not moving forward with building a new police station isn’t really an option,” Bergus told The Gazette last year. “Our police force and our town have continued to grow, and the facility that they’re in ... really just doesn’t fit the need that they have for a facility.”
He said the new facility is designed to “accommodate at least the next 10 years of growth.”
Work clearing the site already has begun, Bergus said, and the city hopes it will be move-in ready by July 2020.
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