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11/13/2012 10:28:00 PM
Council to consider modular cop shop
The Wilmington City Council will receive estimates next week for the construction of a modular police station on nearly 2 acres of land it owns at the corner of Buchanan Street and Robert P. Weidling Drive.

The existing station at Main and Jackson streets is inefficient for its use. The Illinois Department of Corrections has put the city on notice that its holding cells are not up to code. Wilmington police officers currently have to transport prisoners to the county jail in Joliet, or hold them in Braidwood.

Per an annexation agreement for the RidgePort Logistics Center, the city is due to receive $2 million from developer Ridge Property Trust for the construction of a new police station. However, the development hasn't yet met the construction criteria that is the trigger for the payment. Mayor Marty Orr would like to expedite the process a bit so that the city doesn't need to go to the taxpayers for funding.

"Right now we're under a crunch. Not that we have to do this type of building, but we have to get out of that building," explained city administrator Tony Graff at Tuesday's Police Committee meeting.

Williams Scotsman designed a 10,000-square foot station for the corner of South Water Street and Kahler Road. However, the city owns land directly across Robert P. Weidling Drive from the city hall, and the company's engineer as well as the police chief favor the site for its proximity to city hall, as well as its distance from the major intersection.

Illinois Central Sch Buss

The cost of the facility designed for the Kahler Road site was $2,350,748, and did not include the cost of land acquisition. Architect Rich Rizmer from Williams Scotsman anticipates that the site near city hall would have fewer challenges, and it would cost less to build there.

The price includes an emergency generator, evidence coolers, furniture, bathroom fixtures, lights, phones, site work, paving, an elevator to a full unfinished basement, a partial sprinkler system and site signs.

"This is a modular, turnkey operation," said Graff. "It would all be built off-site, and it would come here and be assembled."

"It's a conventional building, conventional architecture, but we use modular components to do it," said Rizmer.

Construction could be completed in six months or less. Construction time is shortened because while the site is being prepared, the building is being built in a factory in Indiana.

The facility would conform with all building codes as well as Illinois Department of Corrections standards. It would have a life expectancy of 75 to 100 years, although its efficient life may be only about 25. The basement could expand the building's efficient life.

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