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Bainbridge will go back to consultant for more study on new police station

An artist
An artist's sketch of a new Bainbridge Island police building.
— image credit: Image courtesy of Mackenzie, Inc. | City of Bainbridge Island

The city of Bainbridge Island will ask for more work by an outside consultant before determining where and how it should build its new police station.

The additional study, combined with work already completed by the consultants, will total roughly $77,500.

Talk about replacing Bainbridge Island's aging police station on Winslow Way began to ramp up again last year, and the city, along with the Bainbridge Island Fire Department, hired a consultant firm to evaluate the potential for new facilities for police and firefighters, as well as a shared facility that both could call home.

Mackenzie, Inc. released its report on options for new police and fire facilities in June, and the consultants said a new standalone police station would cost approximately $7.6 million for a 19,270-square-foot building, not including the cost of land.

A new combined facility for Bainbridge Island's police and fire departments will cost $15.3 million, according to the Mackenzie report, and city officials said Bainbridge's portion of a combined project could total roughly $6 million (not including land costs).

City officials now want Mackenzie to do additional work to evaluate the three options identified in the report for Bainbridge's new police station. The alternatives: building a joint facility with the Bainbridge Island Fire Department at the site of the fire department's current headquarters station on North Madison Avenue, or constructing a standalone police building at a downtown site near city hall.

City council members met last week in a closed-door executive session to discuss property acquisition, and city officials have only said that locations north and south of city hall are being considered as the potential places for a standalone police building.

According to the Mackenzie report, the standalone police station would require a 1.5 acre site with 65,590 square feet of developed area. A total of 45 spaces would be needed for parking, including 20 secured parking places for police vehicles.

According to a July 16 memo to the city council from Deputy City Manager Morgan Smith, the city wants its consultant to do additional "feasibility review and site-specific evaluation of the remaining options" before officials make a decision on the best option to pursue.

"This will provide a sufficient level of confidence that all three options are viable for consideration," Smith wrote in the memo.

The additional consultant work is expected to cost $29,400. The cost for the additional work has not been budgeted, and a budget amendment would be required at some point by the council to authorize the additional study.

Smith, in her memo, said Mackenzie will develop a standardized process for reviewing alternative sites, and the options will be ranked to help with the site selection. She said the additional review and the ranking process could be completed by mid-September.

The city has spent approximately $48,100 so far on the consultants for the new police building.

The city's share of the joint study with the fire department is approximately $36,100, and the city will pay Mackenzie another $12,000 for additional research to identify potential locations for a stand-alone police station.

Results from that evaluation, which were done separately from the analysis done with the fire department, were made available to city officials in mid-June.

In an email to the Review Monday, Smith noted that the city must be sure the standalone sites chosen as options will be feasible on issues such as parking and access, so additional evaluation was necessary.

"Certainly this process has been thorough, but that is to be expected for a project of this scope and significance," Smith said. "In the six months since the project began, we have learned a great deal about our public safety requirements, and about what facilities are needed to support safe, reliable, and professional police services."

"This project will deliver important results for the community, but it will also require significant resources," she added. "We believe that the investments we make now, to fully understand the relative costs and benefits of various options, are a critical part of creating a successful project that will serve Bainbridge Island for decades to come."

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