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McHenry OKs $33K for police department expansion design plans

FGM Architects will design plans for remodel

McHenry police officer Matthew Voelker shows where he wears the Jan. 9, 2018, in McHenry.
McHenry police officer Matthew Voelker shows where he wears the Jan. 9, 2018, in McHenry.

McHenry’s Police Department could soon see some upgrades.

The McHenry City Council approved a $32,800 professional services agreement with FGM Architects this week to develop full design and construction plans for police department renovations.

In 2014, FGM completed a full work space analysis at the department and determined the department’s work space was too small by about 12,000 square feet. The building was built in 1991 for 35 staff members and the department in 2019 has 80 staff members, Police Chief John Birk said in a memo to the council.

As part of the 2014 analysis, FGM provided conceptual plans for expansion, which included the relocation of police administration and the investigations department to the second floor. The project was broken into five phases – dispatch and police administration; investigations, sergeants and patrol; locker rooms; processing / secured entryway and a classroom.

Phase I was taken care of after Illinois passed a mandate requiring 50% of 911 centers in McHenry County close by July 2017. McHenry’s dispatch center was selected to stay open and was expanded, and police administration moved into the second floor of the police building, Birk said.

“The workspace issues for the remaining divisions of the department have continued to present a growing issue,” Birk said. “Over the course of the last three years the police department has secured grant and police seizure funds that will allow the next phase of the renovation to take place without general fund dollars.”

Phase II includes the buildout of a new, furnished investigations unit, the remodel of the old investigations unit into a furnished sergeants office, the renovation of the current patrol area to include both a squad and report writing / equipment room, and the buildout of a new classroom and meeting room.

The city is working with FGM and McHenry’s community development department on the project. City Council will still have to approve bids from contractors who want to complete the project itself.

“Although this process is more time-consuming for staff, it is anticipated that we will save a significant amount of money over the course of the project,” Birk said.

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