NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa (KWWL) — From a converted farmhouse, to a brand new state-of-the-art facility, The city of North Liberty celebrated a ground breaking on its new $4.8 million police station.
The departments current building was most recently used as city hall, before being converted into what’s now the police department’s home. It’s just 2500 square feet, but the new station will be six times bigger, to make all 23 officers feel at home.
While it may not look like much, the pile of broken trees at 5 E Cherry St., is what North Liberty P.D.’s dreams are made of.
“The space that everything will be housed in one facility, is something that will be a dream,” said North Liberty Police Chief, Diane Venenga.
Chief Venenga was one of a few community leaders who broke ground today, on what will soon be a dream come true. It’s the first-ever police station in the city, built to suit. This comes after the department hopped from one hand-me-down building to the next, since starting in 1999.
“When they moved in there [current facilities], I promised Diane two years, three years. Well, here we are 8 years later,” said North Liberty City Administrator, Ryan Heiar.
In 2017, we showed you just how cramped this old farmhouse, eventually turned police station was. The new building promising to cure the department’s current growing pains.
“What this police department is going to bring for us is a secure environment, it’s actually built as a police facility.”
Equipped with safe, secure, and separate areas for officers, victims, and suspects, which the current facilities lack.”We will have interview rooms that are a little bit more hardened, more so than what’s just in the back of a patrol car,” said Venenga.
The backhoe sitting on the site will soon transform the land into locker rooms, workout facilities, and much more. Something Venega said will benefit the department for years to come, “It’s fit for a police officer, with their everyday work life in mind, so it’s easier for them to function.”
The North Liberty Police Department worked with a group called police facilities design research for about a year, to plan and design the new station to be as functional as possible.
The initial estimates for construction costs came in over budget, so the department cut about $700,000 from the project. They hope to add those back in at a later date.