The new Wood River police station, seen here in an artist’s rendering, will be about 20,000 square feet, compared to the current 2,500 square feet that houses the police headquarters.
WOOD RIVER — The Wood River Police Department has reached the next step toward a new police station as plans are coalescing for the structure.
Chief Otis Steward updated the City Council during the March 16 council meeting.
“We’re getting pretty close with a floor plan and how the building will be laid out,” Steward said. “Most items are all sewed up, maybe just some cosmetic things on the outside at this point. As soon as that is finished, the plans will be turned into construction documents and we’ll be breaking ground soon.”
The current police station has five cells; the new station will have eight cells with two temporary cells. A fitness room will give officers a way to stay physically fit. A small kitchen and shower room will be among the amenities for officers. Providing more space for officers and their guests in a secure location is at the forefront of the new police station plans.
“I started here at WRPD in 1988 and we’ve had offices spread between the City Hall building and the former Regions Bank building since before that,” Steward said. “It will be nice to have everything under one roof and be more accessible. The difference in the amount of space we will have is quite substantial.”
The new police station will increase to roughly 20,000 square feet, compared to the current 2,500 square feet that houses the police headquarters. An additional 3,000 square feet has been used in the former Regions Bank building for investigations and the chief’s office.
“When you come into the lobby of the new police department, you’ll be able to access both records and police communications,” Steward said. “As it is now, the records and the department are in two different sections of City Hall. You have to go out one door and enter another portion of the building to access records. It’s going to be nice to have it all together.”
Last fall British Petroleum (BP) reached an agreement with the Wood River City Council to donate the land on the southwest corner of Illinois 143 and Sixth Street. Plans for construction of a $7.8 million facility to house the department as well as space for future development within the city have been taking shape.
“BP is a large corporation and they’ve given a lot to us,” Steward said. “We hope to do something to commemorate BP. That’s something we’ve been discussing, but it’s up to the architects how they work that. AAI&C out of Collinsville are the architects that are working on this project. We’re shooting for summer to break ground.”
In other business, the council set a public hearing for 7 p.m. Monday, April 6, about the VanPreter and Park Street resurfacing project.