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Police Department HQ Renovations Go Forward After Review by Committee

Approved three-year project is expected to cost $3 million; police department asset forfeiture funds will assume some of the costs

Published on Thursday, May 20, 2021 | 5:58 am

Pasadena’s Police Department headquarters is getting a facelift. And more.

While the Pasadena City Council approved the wide-ranging renovation of the building on May 12, the Council asked the Public Safety Committee to once again review and discuss the project before preparing final plans and seeking construction bids.

The committee—comprised of Mayor Victor Gordo, Councilmember Tyron Hampton, Councilmember John Kennedy, and Councilmember Steve Madison—reviewed the plans Wednesday.

Most of the concerns during the wide-ranging discussion had less to do with the actual construction and more with the role of the Police Department in the city, and how funds are spent within the City budget itself.

Some community members asked that funds instead be used to combat housing and homelessness issues, as well as to provide more community-based programming.

The Committee did not formally vote on the project, as it was presented only as an information item.

“This matter has been approved by the City Council, in my view,”said Mayor Gordo. “It’s a matter of getting the work done, and there are contractual agreements which need to be approved, and they will find their way to City Council.”

According to the LA Conservancy, the police headquarters building at 207 N. Garfield Avenue was designed and built in 1990, in a project overseen by self-described “modern traditionalist” Robert A. M. Stern. The building was “intended to complement the historic feeling of Pasadena’s civic center.”

Stern was told to create something that expressed the formidable quality of law and also invited people into the building, according to the conservancy site.

City officials wanted something different from the bunker-like police stations of the 1970s and ’80s. Stern interpreted their desires by creating a building that directly referenced the magnificent 1920s and 1930s buildings of the civic center,” said the conservancy.

Renovations to the building are estimated to cost $3 million over three years. $900,000 of that amount is expected to be paid by the City’s Asset Forfeitures account. The City also made asset forfeiture funds available to local nonprofits last year for the current year through 2022.

According to the presentation by Commander Jason Clawson, the Police Department is in need of an interior remodel to the majority of its office spaces and public areas. The remodel supports the department’s reorganization and will be the first major facility upgrade in the 30 year life of the building.

The Police Department remodel will safeguard both patrons and employees, modernize the workspace, create an open floor plan, improve recruitment and retention, increase productivity and team collaboration, and accommodate the emergent upgrade of technology.

As Clausen told the committee, the original floorplan of the building met the needs of the organization in the late 1980s but no longer serves the current needs of the department or the community.

“The expansion of technology as well as the current department reorganization has caused the need for outdated systems to be replaced and/or refurbished,” said Clausen.

A Property Condition Assessment was conducted in November 2017 identifying immediate needs of the facilities’ physical conditions, structural integrity, safety concerns as well as electrical and mechanical deficiencies.

There is also an operational need to open the Grand Lobby, and keep it open for longer hours to create a secure environment for community and employees, said the presentation.

The project also includes plans to move the records department to the northeast corner of the building allowing access to the lobby for servicing the community, allowing more people to enter the building to communicate with the department.

Elevator structures in the building were installed in 1989 and are in need of a full modernization to the motorized system versus hydraulics. Several incidents of elevator emergencies have been incurred by city employees. Police Chief John Perez, in fact, noted that on more than occasion over the last few years, police employees have been stuck in the elevator, including police command staff.

There will be no structural redesign or demolition, or changes to the building foundations, according to the presentation. Additional work may include painting, concrete repair, floorboards, doors, electrical fixtures, millwork and countertops, plumbing, fire safety systems, kitchen installation.

The project would also include a technology upgrade of cellular and local area network connections.

The remodel would cover 17,770 SF of office space, and include office furnishings, window treatments, ground flooring, paint and drywall repair, updated wiring and IT connections, electrical engineering , existing ducting and plumbing, space conversions, and light construction.

The project will now move into the preparation of plans and specifications work phase. Plans will then need to be finalized and prepared for the public bid phase, and then advertised to local contractors

Once bids are received they will be analyzed, with the project awarded to the lowest bidder. City Council would then vote on approvals for contracts, and then the construction phase would begin.

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