From a functional standpoint the architects concluded that “the building is living on borrowed time” withoperational deficiencies inherent to the layout of the building that compromises the ability of Police personnelto do their job.The City is not in a position financially to justify putting more money into the building knowing that the buildinghas exceeded its service life so the City is asking Kent voters to consider supporting financing a new buildingwith a new dedicated income tax levy.
Interior Wiring Code Problems
Couldn’t the City keep making repairs rather than constructing a new Police facility?
The City was able to squeeze an extra 17 years out of the existing building through repairs and renovations butgiven the age and footprint of the building there’s only so much that can be done to make the best out of thesubstandard space.The architects have documented a wide range of building deficiencies thatwill continue to require costly, temporary fixes. Plus, given the age of thebuilding, many of the building systems are not in compliance with modernbuilding and zoning codes, National Fire Protection Association requirements,Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction regulations or theAmericans with Disabilities Act.The building has reached a point where the costs of making repairs increaseseach year while the functional value of the building keeps going down as theoutdated space and antiquated building utilities prevent the City fromutilizing all the modern technology that is available to protect public safetyand operate a modern Police facility.As it stands today, the building that houses the City employees dedicated to public safety is actually one of the worst violators of public safety in the City. It is difficult forthe City to lead by example and compel private buildings to comply with public safetystandards when the City’s most prominent building is in such poor condition.A review of the City’s capital improvement plans show where the City did its best to extend the life of theexisting building but the architects have indicated that given all of the work that needs to be done, it would bemore cost effective to construct a new building.
Does the City know what is needed for a new Police facility and how much it will cost?
The architects have performed a series of space studies that take the number of Police personnel and
Projected Space Need
(2 story building)
First Floor = 20,702Second Floor = 9,911Total 30,613Administration: 1,500Public Entry: 2,148Services/Records: 3,600Operations: 5,548Jail: 4,956Investigations: 616Detectives/Juvenile: 3,634Emergency: 1,330Other Building: 625Mechanical: 6,656Total 30,613*Current Building Size = 21,461Net Increase = 9,152
calculate total space needs using industry wide standards for Police facilities.The architects then develop the room plans based on a workflow analysis thatseeks to maximize the functional layout of the building.In terms of numbers, the building’s most recent addition was constructed in1977, bringing its total size to 21,461square feet. Thirty-five years later, thearchitects have determined that the Police Department needs at least 30,000square feet of space to function efficiently and effectively.Using recent police facility construction costs, and projected land costs, thearchitects were able to estimate a cost of $13 million for the new building withland costs likely between $4 and $5 million.
How will the City pay for the new building?
The City’s finance team looked at a number of different options to pay for theconstruction of a new Police building.With cash reserves ($8 million in 2011-12) declining due to City the budgetchallenges created by the downturn in the economy over the last 5 years,paying cash for the building up-front is not an option. It turns out that withinterest rates at record lows, the cost to borrow money is very affordable so thestaff recommended a 30 year bond issue to finance the new building. The Citywould pay approximately $1.3 million annually to pay off the bond in 30 years.