The Berea Municipal Police and Fire Safety Building is moving closer toward opening the first week of September. A few snapshots show progress on the project.
While the back entrance to the old city hall is now unrecognizable, the newly constructed entrance will enable the Berea Police Department to provide better security for the municipal building, as well as additional privacy and security for citizens. The building also includes other important modern safety features, such as a secured garage to transport and process suspects.
With the construction of the new fire truck bays, the Berea Fire Department will have a new home in the center of town, a development that could potentially lead to a better insurance rating for the city. Additionally, the department will finally get much-needed upgrades in living quarters and on-site training facilities.
Once the stone fronting goes up on the exterior of the municipal building, along with the white pillars, the structure will combine elements of a modern style while the attached fire department will have the classic appearance of a New York City fire station.
The building of new offices provided an opportunity to revamp the city’s communication system. New equipment enables the city to reduce paid services from traditional telecommunications providers, potentially saving Berea taxpayers thousands of dollars annually.
At a meeting of the Berea City Council last week, City Administrator Randy Stone said project manager Carroll McGill helped keep the job on track and well within the city’s budget despite some unexpected changes. Once construction was underway, for example, city officials determined the building’s elevator, which is 20 years old, would have to be replaced. Additionally, it was decided the basement had to be refurbished. The combined cost for the changes is $400,000, much less than the city budgeted for such contingencies, Stone told the council.