Rogers likes combined public safety building concept

RogPoliceBut faces ‘sticker shock’

by Dawn Feddersen-Poindexter



The Rogers City Council heard options for a new public safety building that would expand upon the current fire station and house both the Fire and Police Departments at their regular meeting on June 11.

In October, HTG Architects was tasked with developing building options for the two departments. They were ready to present three options to the Council. They told the Council that a new stand-alone police station would cost a little over $6 million, in addition to $822,000 in necessary improvements to the fire station. But adding facilities for the Police Department onto the existing fire station they estimated at $5 million.

After discussions with city staff, HTC concentrated their presentation to the Council on three layout options for a 26,500-square-foot combined public safety building because of several factors. It would save on land acquisition, land improvements, and constructions costs. Some uses of the square footage, such as emergency operations, training, exercise, and locker rooms, would be shared rather than duplicated in separate facilities. And it would cost significantly less than stand-alone buildings for each department.

The Council was pleased with the options presented but were also a bit wary of such a large project.

“I can describe this page as sticker shock,” said Council member Rick Ihli, referring to a cost estimate provided by HTG. “For myself, I’d like to digest this a little bit more.”

The Council directed staff to prepare financing options to present to them at a future meeting so they can ascertain the feasibility of such an undertaking.

Also at the meeting, the Council approved a 227,054-squar- foot office-warehouse building on 16.5 acres at the southwest corner of South Diamond Lake Road and Brockton Lane. The building represents the third phase of the Liberty Industrial Park that was initially approved in 2011.

“As we’ve seen in the past couple of years, Liberty has been a pretty good partner for the City. They build a quality product,” Ihli said.

Phase one was purchased by Medline Industries, Inc., which completed construction on its warehouse facility in 2012. Phase two was completed by Liberty Property and is currently leased to multiple tenants. Depending on leasing, construction on phase three could begin as early as this summer.

“I think our industrial park is the envy of neighboring communities. Probably across the country,” Council member Darren Jakel proudly boasted.

In other matters, the Council approved a plan to add a 10-foot-wide trail and rectilinear lights on 30-foot poles along the east side of Rogers Drive, from South Diamond Lake Road to 141st Avenue.

The plan is to begin construction this August and have it completed either this fall or next spring, depending on the weather.

An extension of the trail from Broadway Pizza to Rogers Middle School is expected to be completed as a part of the Hwy. 101/CountyRd. 144 road project.