City To Study Feasibility of New Police Facility
WILLOUGHBY, Ohio, September 20, 2022 – Willoughby City Council passed legislation related to a potential purchase of property and building located at 37733 Euclid Avenue (Meister Media Worldwide), which is being considered for a future Willoughby Police Station.
Richard L. Bowen and Associates, based in Cleveland, Ohio, has conducted an architectural assessment and fit plan of the site along with estimated construction costs for renovation and expansion to meet the current and future needs of the Willoughby Police Department. Once a purchase agreement is secured, the city’s administration will continue its due-diligence period for 60 days to:
- Identify modifications that are needed
- Determine a proposed budget and financing requirements
- Establish a project timeline
“Safety and law enforcement is a top priority,” said Mayor Bob Fiala. “Addressing our police facility needs has been discussed over the last 24 months as the deficiencies of the current police station become readily apparent. We are committed to taking the time to explore all options and evaluate costs to ensure a solution that best serves our community.”
The current police station at 36700 Euclid Ave was evaluated in the fall of 2021 as part of a comprehensive Facility Program and Needs Assessment study conducted by Police Facility Design Group. The primary objectives of that study included:
- Defining the current and future space needs of the police department
- Evaluating the condition of the existing station
- Determining the feasibility of retrofitting the existing station
- Logistics and cost estimates to construct a new facility
Prior to this assessment, the city explored a possible Public-Private Partnership in 2020 with a developer to construct a new station at a nearby site but determined that it was too costly.
“Once we determined that the existing facility is incompatible for renovation and expansion, our thoughts shifted towards building new,” said City Council President Bob Carr. “The Public-Private Partnership examined a facility roughly the same size as the current station. Unfortunately, it did not meet all the practical space needs that modern police facilities require for best practices, and it came at a relatively high price.”
In the meantime, the Euclid Avenue property became available that is in excellent condition, in a centralized location, and with proper renovation and expansion could provide a more cost-effective solution while still meeting the needs of the police department.
By the conclusion of the due diligence period, city officials, with professional guidance from Bowen, will confirm the space will meet all needs within an acceptable budget and determine if it is necessary to ask the voters for support for a new police facility. If confirmed, the City of Willoughby will enter a purchase agreement with Meister Media International for $2,545,000.
“Given the age of the existing station, which was built in 1975, it has become functionally obsolete,” said Willoughby Police Chief Jim Schultz. “A new facility incorporating new technology, improved efficiencies and better use of space will allow our department the ability to improve upon our services for our residents and community.”