Village Weighing Options for Facility Improvements

Village Weighing Options for Facility Improvements

With a number of the Village’s facilities beginning to show signs of age, and many in need of modernization due to changing operational procedures, the Village Board has established an Ad Hoc Facilities Committee to discuss possible remedies. Trustees A.C. Buehler, Kathryn Ciesla and Bob Israel recently reviewed a list of the most critical short and long term needs by Police, Fire and Public Works and discussed options with Village staff.

“Some of the buildings haven’t always changed to accommodate department needs,” commented Public Works Director Kelly Hamill, who pointed out that equipment for Police and Fire have advanced over the years with vehicles and firefighting equipment getting larger.

Some of the biggest issues are the Fleet Maintenance Garage, constructed in 1956, which can no longer accommodate some of the larger fire equipment. The 47 year old Police Station has been retrofitted to accommodate Police operations, but is not current for best practices for standards and protocols. Fire Station 11 requires significant updates to the operational portion of the building including living quarters and office space. Improvements are also needed to better accommodate the increasing number of women employees. Many buildings need new roofs, HVAC systems and nearly all need security updates.

Police Station
Originally constructed in 1974 as combined Police and Fire Station
Jail and prisoner intake areas need remodeling to meet current requirements and eliminate safety issues for officers and prisoners
Additional space needed for department issued equipment in locker rooms
Generator undersized and needs to be upgraded
Restroom facility for interview rooms needed in the Investigations Unit

Fire Station 11
Constructed in 1971 as the Fire Department Headquarters to house 3 full time firefighters and volunteer firefighters (now has 6 firefighters and 17 administrative staff)
Better women’s locker rooms and sleeping accommodations needed
Electrical improvements needed to ensure enough capacity for ambulances to be plugged in HVAC and fire sprinkler improvements needed

Fleet Maintenance Garage
Cannot adequately raise ladder truck and other large apparatus for repairs
Need to add locker room facilities for men and women as well as women’s washroom
Vehicle lifts have reached the end of their useful lives
No air conditioning or fire suppression
Ceiling height restrictions and lack of work space

Possible scenarios range from expanding and renovating the current buildings onsite, or possibly moving the spaces to other locations (such as the fleet garage to the Fire Station). Trustees said they would be willing to consider constructing new facilities should the cost of repairs be prohibitive.

To fully evaluate space needs, the committee directed Village Manager Rich Nahrstadt to seek Request for Qualifications (RFQ) from consultants to perform a space needs analysis so the panel can figure out the next steps. Trustees also discussed making site visits to other municipalities to consider some of the newer facilities, looking at the possibility of grant money, and partnering with other municipalities with similar needs. It was generally agreed to continue to address any life safety issues immediately, but to hold off spending funds on larger capital improvements for the three buildings that will be reviewed with the space needs analysis until the findings are reported.

To see the report visit www.northbrook.il.us.

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