Village sees plans for police station renovations
Vernon Hills Police Chief Mark Fleischhauer is hoping planned renovations at the department's facilities will be approved by the Village Board. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 18, 2013 1:17AM
VERNON HILLS — The price tag for a renovated police station is $3.2 million.
Village trustees were shown plans for the first time since the project was halted in 2007, but their reactions were mild-to-skeptical.
Architects Scott and Kurt Hezner presented during the Jan. 9 Committee of the Whole meeting.
The two men had worked with Police Chief Mark Fleischhauer for about six months, analyzing the two adjacent police structures at Phillips Road and Lakeview Parkway and interviewing police officers.
“One thing you have to remember is that this building is used 24-hours-a day,” Scott Hezner said. “It might be only 20 years old, but that number is amplified when the facility gets used round-the-clock.”
Neither building would be expanded externally. All renovations and upgrades would be within the current shell of the two buildings.
The architects said immediate approval would lead to a four-month bidding process, with construction going from June through May 2014.
Village Manager Mike Allison said the project will not move that fast. He said the proposal was a refresher and that trustees will be reviewing all potential infrastructure projects in the next few months.
Similarly, Fleischhauer said he wants to get each individual trustee into the building for a tour in the next six weeks.
Finance Director Larry Nakrin told trustees that bonds probably would be issued to cover any potential work, expecting as much as $250,000 in annual payments.
Before getting hard details of the plans, Trustee Barbara Williams already identified “fluff” she would like removed. She said there were some nice improvements that are not necessary, but preferred to have a paper report to critique before identifying specific items.
All trustees and administrators agreed that a new roof and new air conditioner is needed for the original police building.
Fleischhauer said the roof leaks and garbage bags are taped to ceiling panels in some areas to funnel dripping water into garbage cans.
Fleischhauer said the air conditioner stopped working during the day for most of the summer.
Most of the work will be done to the original building opened in 1992. The second building, which was purchased during the 2007 attempted renovation, is in good shape, according to the report, and needs walls partitioned to fit the designated uses. About a third of that building is not used, the report said.
The communications, records and social services departments, as well as the auxiliary property storage and workout rooms were moved into the new building in 2007 while their original spaces were rehabbed.
Those original areas have been randomly filled in the years since the economic downturn stalled the project.
“We’re displaced and need reorganized,” Fleischhauer said.
Any future renovation would follow the same ideology: shuffling departments throughout the free spaces amidst construction.
Expansions would help the investigations department, which has 11 detectives in a room designed for four people, as well as the department’s 18 female employees who share 12 lockers and one shower.
Proposed plans involve more desk space, new roll call rooms, female lockers in both buildings and a new place for gun cleaning, which is currently located inside the men’s locker room.
A detail trustees didn’t appreciate was the proposed installation of power outlets inside lockers for officers to charge phones or use personal hygiene devices.