Expanding Shorewood's police department would cost $3.8 million

This rendering depicts how an additional apparatus bay might be added to the Shorewood Police Department building.

This rendering depicts how an additional apparatus bay might be added to the Shorewood Police Department building. Photo By Zimmerman Architectural Studios

Feb. 4, 2015

Shorewood — After nearly nine years of discussing a new police department, Shorewood is evaluating the feasibility of expanding its existing building.

The village has considered many options for a larger police department building, including purchasing the 28,000-square-foot AB Data building at 4057 N. Wilson Drive for $2.5 million and spending another $2.5 million on renovations. The village also considered purchasing the former Catholic Family Life Insurance building at 1572 E. Capitol Drive before that property was purchased by Northwoods Web Solutions.

Looking to move forward, the Shorewood Village Board decided last fall to consider its primary option: renovating and expanding onto the current building.

John Sabinash of Zimmerman Architectural Studios appeared before the village board Feb. 2 to present his plans to add roughly 3,600 square feet to the 6,000-square-foot police department by adding an apparatus bay on the north side of the building for the fire department. The existing fire department apparatus bay would be renovated for police department use.

The renovations would cost $3.8 million, which includes $2.4 million in construction costs and $1.3 million in professional services and other soft costs. This plan assumes that the fire department would continue to rent space within the police department building.

In addition to adding an apparatus bay, the existing police department building would also be remodeled, and new mechanical services would be installed throughout the building. The lower level would still be used by the police department, while the second floor would be used by the North Shore Fire Department.

Sabinash said the design makes the most out of the available space within the tight property boundaries.

"We've probably gotten as much out of the tea bag as we can," he said.

The plan has not yet been presented to the North Shore Fire Department. One way of solving the space limitations could be changing or consolidating the North Shore Fire Department's Shorewood branch, but Village Manager Chris Swartz acknowledged the idea of changing response times within the 1.5-square-mile village might not be politically popular.

Moving forward, Swartz said village staff will consider the findings of the newest police department study, and see if there are any other sites that are worth considering before pursuing the expansion project. Swartz said he would like to see a design finalized in 2016, with construction beginning in 2017.

Trustee Jeff Hanewall, the chair of the public works committee, said none of the proposed police department plans have been ideal, but the need for a larger, more modern police department demands a timely solution.

"If we're going to do something — and in my opinion we have to — we're going to be spending money," Hanewall said.

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