A new plan has emerged that would use existing space to meet some of the city of Brainerd's space needs.
The plan, presented to the Brainerd City Council Tuesday by Construction Analysis and Management, will focus on the space needs of the police department, which would move from the Law Enforcement Center to the former Water and Light building on Laurel Street at East River Road.
CAM has been working with Architecture One, which recently updated the city's space needs study last done in 2000.
The council directed CAM to produce a preliminary concept for floor plans with a total cost for the Water and Light building renovations not to exceed $1 million. The plans are not to exceed $5,000. Also, a committee was established of various city officials and police officers to help with the design of a new police station.
Gary Otterstad, with CAM, said the Water and Light building is structurally fine, but would need to be completely renovated and his firm was recommending a look similar to the courthouse. The police department would initially be just one floor, and an addition would be built between the former Water and Light building and the metal garage further north on East River Road.
"(The building) is definitely adequate for today's needs," said Brainerd Police Chief John Bolduc.
Otterstad said the Water and Light building, an addition between the garage and the metal garage itself could create about 15,000-square feet for the police department. There also would be room for a second floor to be built on the addition, if it were needed.
"All of this or none of this could happen depending on what the need is -- the immediate needs, the future needs," said Otterstad. "All in all it would really be a nice addition to downtown, and it would fit into Brainerd Restoration's plans."
The proposed plan would also include relocating the driver's license office and Community Action into the vacated Senior Center and moving the new transit coordinator offices and engineering technicians into those offices.
The space needs solution is a scaled down version of what the city council put before voters in November 2000. Then the city wanted to issue and sell general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $7 million to provide funds to construct and equip municipal buildings consisting of a new public safety building and an addition to city hall. Voters said no.
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