Bigger and better

A 5-year renovation of police building ends in dedication

November 22, 2009|By Andrea F. Siegel

Annapolis officials dedicated the city's renovated and expanded police headquarters Wednesday, a structure that took five years to build.

The building that once was 23,000 square feet has been almost doubled in size to accommodate the growing department, upgraded technology and an emergency management center.

"I'm mightily relieved," Mayor Ellen O. Moyer said of the project that has lasted through most of her tenure as mayor, which ends early next month. "This has been a long, hard struggle."

The $8.9 million project was dogged by construction problems necessitating rebuilding. And in August, the building had to be evacuated because carbon monoxide accidentally filled part of the structure.

Even as the ceremony was taking place, work was under way to finish offices and apply finishing touches. Completion is expected next month, ending a couple of years of what seemed like a game of musical offices.

"This is a building everyone can be proud of," Moyer said. The new structure puts various divisions with the police agency under one roof, gives them much-needed storage and work areas, and adds holding cells, booking space and state-of-the-art equipment.

Initial plans had called for the Taylor Avenue construction project, which included a three-story addition, parking garage and emergency operations building in addition to a top-to-bottom renovation, to be finished in 2006. But flaws, from flooding to structural problems, led the city to recoup about $5 million from the first contractor and divide the work between two others, said Robert O. Schuetz, central services director. The city is still working on recouping as much as another $1 million.

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