The city of Bainbridge Island has narrowed the list of possible locations for its new public safety building.
Six sites had been under consideration, including the existing home of the Bainbridge Island Police Department on Winslow Way in downtown.
At a press conference Tuesday, city officials and their consultants on the project unveiled the city’s three top choices so far.
Those sites will be the focus of a public open house planned for 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 12 at city hall, where the community is invited to offer feedback on the three locations.
The three options include the police station’s existing location near the ferry terminal, plus the roughly 5-acre Vineyard Lane site east of Highway 305, and the 1.89-acre property on the north side of New Brooklyn Road that sits just west of Bainbridge Island Fire Department’s Station 21’s helicopter pad.
Though three locations have been informally culled from the current crop of choice spots, city officials noted that the decision on where to put the new police station and what sites will undergo even further scrutiny are subject to an up-or-down decision from the city council.
The three locations that didn’t rise to the top include the property at 8954 Madison Ave. North, next to Highway 305; 9657 NE Yaquina Ave., which is also next to Highway 305 and Madison Avenue North; and the Columbia Bank Building at 249 Winslow Way East in downtown Winslow.
City officials and consultants on the project are hoping the public will offer comments, suggestions and feedback at next week’s open house, where details on the ranking for each of the potential locations will be shared, as well as the pros and cons for each site.
“We really want public engagement,” said Matthew Coates, an architect and president of Bainbridge-based Coates Design.
“It seems obvious to state: this building is here to serve the community and the community ought to be a part of that process.”
As part of the open house, people will be asked to fill out surveys that will be helpful in the selection process as it continues, Coates said.
City Manager Doug Schulze said discussion of a new police station has made the rounds for years, and multiple studies have been done in the past to explore potential locations and needed improvements for the police station.
And in 2015, the city had asked voters to approve a $15 million bond for a new public safety center to be built next to city hall on Madison Avenue. Bainbridge voters, however, shot down that proposal in a landslide “no” vote.
Coates Design was hired last year by the city to evaluate potential locations for the new police station, which may include room for a municipal court.
Schulze noted at Tuesday’s press conference that the city council has yet to decide if the new facility should just house the police department, or if it should be built to include the city’s municipal court, which is presently located in a leased building in Rolling Bay.