DeKALB – The DeKalb City Council will host a groundbreaking ceremony at 3 p.m. Monday for the new police station being built at 700 W. Lincoln Highway.
Public Works Director T.J. Moore said construction crews already have begun utility work for the station, including sewer lines, power lines, water lines, as well as the building’s foundation.
Mayor Kris Povlsen said crews needed to begin work on the site, and that Monday’s ceremony was not reflective of any special date or occurrence.
“It’s really just a groundbreaking ceremony to recognize the hard work that has gone into it,” Povlsen said.
The new station is scheduled to open in November 2013, Moore said. However, most of the structure should be up by the beginning of this winter.
“Using modern construction techniques, we hope to have the building enclosed by the time the snow flies,” Moore said. If workers meet that timetable, work on the inside of the building can continue throughout the winter.
The City Council is working on securing the money for the new police station, which will cost the city $12 million. Although no final action has been taken, the City Council is considering borrowing $12.25 million to pay for the station as well as some improvements at two of the city’s fire stations.
Should the council decide to issue this bond amount over the next two years, the city will pay $15.8 million over the next 19 years.
The two-story station will be across Lincoln Highway from Northern Illinois University’s Center for Black Studies and Women’s Resource Center. Moore said the new station, which will be just less than 35,000 square feet, is an enormous improvement on the current station at 200 S. 4th St.
“It’s a facility that’s entirely designed around what DeKalb was in the 1960s,” Moore said of the current station. The new building will reflect modern policing, he added.
Police Chief Eugene Lowery agreed with that sentiment. He described the new building as better outfitted and better equipped to deal with a modern police force.
“Many things we do from an operations standpoint, are done in quarters that weren’t designed for that,” Lowery said. One example is how juvenile offenders are handled. Juvenile offenders are required by state law to be processed separately from adult offenders. The new building will have separate areas for adults and juveniles.
Once the current police station has been vacated, that space will be remodeled and other city departments will be able to set up shop there.
“Hopefully everyone will be under one roof in the ol’ city hall,” Povlsen said.