Making space

Former fire station is being transformed for police use

Renovations at Clear Lake City Hall which will more than double the space allotted to the police department are beginning to take shape.

Police Chief Rex McChesney says King Construction, which was awarded the $1.14 million contract, is rapidly transforming the former fire station into space for booking, interview rooms, IT rooms, evidence and weapons storage, a detective’s office, officer locker room, showers and more.

“We’re pretty excited to be seeing the project take shape,” said McChesney.  “It will provide the department with much needed space.”

Among the new rooms included in the plan for the garage space which housed fire trucks until two years ago is an Intox Room where those arrested for OWI or illegal substances could be tested and processed.  A holding cell is also part of the design, a huge step up from the bench in a small hallway in the current station where those arrested are restrained until transported to jail.

In the coming months the public will see a single entry door replace two of the four overhead doors used when fire trucks were parked in the space.

Once the former fire station space is completed the contractor will turn its focus to the offices and Council space in City Hall.  During that time the police department will work to move its operations to its new space.  Once the phase two City Hall work is done, including the creation of a space for the city’s Parks and Recreation Department in the former City Council Chambers, renovation will begin on the traditional police department space.  

The City Hall Community Room will become the new regular meeting space for the City Council, providing more seating and easier access for the public.

While not all remodeling is as dramatic as the police department expansion, the entire circa 1960 building will be brought up to current code standards and made much more energy efficient with the installation of new windows, heating and cooling systems.

In anticipation of the project, the City replaced the building’s old emergency back­up generator in 2012, which was an early 1970’s vintage without automatic transfer switch, and made electrical upgrades to the building at that time.


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