By CN Staff
MIDDLEBURG HEIGHTS, Ohio – A former library building in Middleburg Heights, a suburb of Cleveland in Cuyahoga County, will soon be transformed into a new police station.
Middleburg Heights Mayor Matt Castelli shared his proposal with Public Improvements Committee members and other city officials this month noting the building originally was scheduled for demolition.
The $4.9 million project will keep the currently empty structure intact. An attached garage will be added for squad cars, in addition to a sallyport entrance for secure prisoner intake and transfer.
The current 41-year-old police station has serious structural issues, including cracks and separation caused by a shifting foundation. It would cost nearly $1 million to fix it and upgrade the HVAC system.
Constructing and furnishing an entirely new police station would cost between $8 million and $10 million. Neither a jail nor shooting range are planned for the proposed renovated building.
“We can adaptably reuse a fundamentally sound building to a new use with modest exterior changes, to meet both the functional program and the aspirational goals of the department,” said Mayor Castelli, in a statement. “I’m excited about all the positives this project could bring to the city.”
A special feature to be added is a large glass “lantern” feature at the front corner to showcase Memorial Hall and accommodate group gatherings. The new lantern can be illuminated in various colors as a public symbol of the intended transparency of the police department’s mission and integration in the community.
“This building is going to be a beacon to the community,” said Police Chief Ed Tomba, in a statement. “It allows us to bring a connection between the police department and the community, which has always been very important to me.”
Over the past few years, the city has instituted money-saving operational efficiencies and made administrative changes, as well as refinanced a current bond that has resulted in $35,000 to $40,000 in annual savings.
“In addition, a 2002 bond will be paid off in two years, which will ‘free up’ $135,000 to $140,000 per year,” said City Finance Jason Stewart, in a statement.
A 20-year bond for the proposed police headquarters would cost the city $250,000 to $300,000 per year. Stewart said he is “not concerned” about the facility’s ongoing debt service.