Port Royal plans for police station construction

emoody@beaufortgazette.comOctober 7, 2013 

Plans to renovate and add 2,000 square feet to the Port Royal Police Station on Paris Avenue are being completed, and construction could begin by the end of November.

The town hopes to minimize inconvenience to town staff and the public during the work, which is expected to take six to eight months, Chief Alan Beach said.

Business would continue as normal in the building while the addition is built and the training room renovated, he said. When that work is completed, employees will move into the new areas to work while the rest of the building is renovated.

Construction equipment will be staged at the rear of the building and possibly on nearby vacant lots.

The addition will extend the building south and add a second floor. The second floor will be partially finished and used for storage until the department needs to expand, Beach said. The space is needed for hundreds of paper files the town is starting to digitize, but which must be retained to comply with state law.

Among the new features will be a larger reception area with a digital information center similar to the one in Town Hall, an outdoor public restroom and an interview room for investigators that will include a camera system, he said.

A separate outdoor entrance to the training room will allow easier access by other groups that use the building, Beach said.

A larger building is also needed to accommodate a larger staff, he said. The department has 22 employees. During the 2013 budget meeting, Beach suggested the town hire a new officer every four years. Council has made no action toward additional hires.

The current building was completed in the late 1990s, Beach said. Renovations will include painting and new carpet.

Allison Ramsey Architects is designing the work, and Beaufort Construction Inc. will handle construction. The project is being funded with revenue from a special tax district.

"Our goal is no surprises and underbudget," town manager Van Willis said.

The job is expected to cost about $400,000, Willis said. The town has about $450,000 set aside from the tax district for the station.

Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/IPBG_Erin.

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