Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2009 | 1:59 a.m.
Progress is being made on the renovation of the Boulder City Police Station, 1005 Arizona St., but it is coming at a cost. Department of Motor Vehicles services usually provided at the station on Wednesdays will be suspended for August and September.
The reason: The Records Department, which handles the DMV service, was temporarily moved out of its location by the lobby while the floor is being replaced. Boulder City residents needing a DMV appointment will have to go into Henderson until Records can return.
The work is part of an overall renovation that has been ongoing since the Senior Center of Boulder City moved out of the building three years ago. The Police Department took over the space used by the Senior Center in the historic building, which the two shared for years.
The Senior Center’s former lunchroom is being turned into the patrol and detective divisions, with private offices for sergeants and will offer space for officers to write reports and eat lunch in the station, as opposed to in their cars, Police Chief Thomas Finn said. It will also include a small office to provide privacy during interviews with victims or others, he said.
The new offices feature bulletproof windows, secure offices with electronic entry systems and a bulletproof door to the California Street parking lot that will be for officers only, Finn said. That entrance, which used to be the main entryway for the Senior Center lunchroom, will be decorated with period-style lights that say “Police,” the same as the main entrance currently is, he said.
Finn, his assistant Pat Spero and Deputy Chief John Chase will get new offices and a conference room as well. Finn and the Records Department have been moved into small offices in the patrol division while demolition occurs in their areas. Spero temporarily moved to the basement with Chase.
Once the work is completed in early October, all operations except the narcotics detail, reserve officers and evidence vault will move out of the basement, where they have been since the Police Department was created in 1960, Finn said.
Work on the station began shortly after the Senior Center moved out, when police received a federal grant to eliminate one of the two entrances and create new offices for dispatch and records. The work on the new lobby and office space was completed two years ago, Finn said.
Voters in 2007 turned down a ballot measure to renovate the rest of the station, but City Manager Vicki Mayes found unused money earmarked for the Police Station in 1982 and directed it toward the project, Finn said. She also funneled money left over from other capital improvement projects to the station, he said.
“This is her legacy to the Police Department,” he said. “If it wasn’t for her efforts, this never would have been accomplished.”
The demolition and construction have created inconveniences beyond the temporary loss of DMV services. Officers working in the basement offices have to go outside and around to the front door to get to the other side of the building, because the stairs are closed, Finn said.
The renovation also uncovered some unpleasant details. Sixty dead pigeons were found in the attic above the chief’s old office, and wiring that is no longer up to code has been found throughout the buildling, Finn said.
Once this work is done, Finn said, he still has one more project he wants to complete. The traffic unit offices and dispatch break room on the east side of the building have received nothing more than a coat of paint. He wants to add a sink and countertop to the break room and replace flooring and ceilings in that entire area.
“I’m not quite done with the upstairs yet,” he said. “But we’re further along than we were two years ago.”