Aldermen approve $20M contract to renovate new police HQ

·2 min read

Aug. 5—The Frederick Police Department is one step closer to moving in to a new, more spacious headquarters, with the approval of a contract to design and renovate the department's new home.

The city's aldermen approved a $19.8 million contract with Waynesboro Construction, which has an office in Frederick, on Thursday night for the design and renovation of the department's new headquarters on East All Saints Street.

The renovation of the four-story, 65,000-square-foot Gov. William Donald Schaefer Building at 100 E. All Saints St. will allow the department to move from its cramped quarters at the Frederick County Courthouse complex on West Patrick Street.

The new headquarters is expected to meet the department's space needs through 2037, Marc DeOcampo, the director of strategic planning and executive projects for the city, told the mayor and aldermen Thursday.

The department's current space is about 25,000 square feet, and requires two annex spaces, leading to separations that cause problems with efficiency, he said.

The department did a needs assessment study in 2017 that recommended a facility of a little less than 57,000 square feet. The recommendation was increased to 60,000 square feet to accommodate the department's needs over the next 30 years.

A request for proposal at a cost of up to $20 million was solicited in February, and completed in May with four qualified proposals, according to a report written by members of the city staff.

It's good to see a local firm identified for a big project like this one, Alderman Ben MacShane said.

Alderwoman Donna Kuzemchak noted that a new headquarters for the police department was discussed during her first term on the board in 1998. She said she was happy that the plan is finally progressing.

Alderman Kelly Russell, a former FPD officer, said it was clear when she came on the force in 1983 that the current facility was too small for the department's needs.

Russell said she was "beyond words and excited" about Thursday's vote.

Along with housing the police department, its crisis response team, traffic safety team, and multicultural liaison unit, the new facility will also include space to host community events.

That was a priority for a new headquarters, along with finding a location that is centrally located, Chief Jason Lando said Thursday.

The city hopes to finish the design and permitting phase of the project by October 2023 and to have the new facility open by December 2024.