SYKESVILLE -- For the first time in its history, the Police Department here soon will have a place of its own to call home.
The Town Council earlier this spring approved the hiring of an architect to draw up plans for the renovation of the old maintenance shed behind the Town House.
Those plans have been finished, and Police Chief Wallace Mitchell is hoping to put a contract for construction out to bid within the next month.
"We're hoping to put out the bids by mid-July and possibly be completed by the end of the year," Mitchell said.
The plans by William W. Keeney Architect Inc. of Reisterstown call for complete renovation of the 30-foot-by-50-foot building, plus a 16-foot addition to the rear.
The facility will have a secured lobby area, secretary's office and transaction window in front. Behind that will be an evidence and property room, file room, chief's office, a squad and training room and two general offices.
The new addition will have two holding cells, one for men and one for women, a booking room and locker room with bathroom and shower. The facility is designed with handicapped-accessible entrances and bathrooms.
"We'll also have front and rear monitors so we can see what's happening with prisoners and to make sure the officer is all right," Mitchell said.
The front of the building will be landscaped and there will be curbing and parking in front and on one side.
"We put some work into it and tried to get the best out of it we could," Mitchell said. "It'll be a world of difference. And from everything we're doing, I think we're within what we projected the cost to be, $90,000 to $110,000."
Currently, the five-man department works out of a room, about 11 feet by 30 feet, on the first floor of the Town House.
The office is jammed with two desks, a copier, a computer work area, dispatch radio, a few filing cabinets and booking area with camera in the rear.
The "holding area" is a hard plastic chair and pair of handcuffs attached to the fireplace.
Mitchell has some extra space in an upstairs office, and a small closet serves as personal space for the four regular officers.
Debbie Onheiser is the department's administrative assistant. She also answers phones and does other duties for the clerk/treasurer and town manager.
When the police move to their new building, she will go, too. The Town Council included in its fiscal 1993 budget money for a full-time Police Department assistant.
Despite the tight budget restraints, town officials insisted the new police facility is a necessity, for safety purposes if nothing else.
The Town Council plans to sell a piece of property it owns on Sandosky Road to finance the police project.