That can only mean the move of the city's Police Department is imminent - a staff of about 160 is slated this month to move across the street from the existing, cramped law enforcement headquarters to a new two-story, 46,000-square-foot replacement.
Schweitzer is managing the construction of the new police headquarters at Division and John Patterson Streets. The new $15.5 million police headquarters building will accommodate law enforcement staff and their space/storage needs, "as well as offer new community spaces where we can meet with our neighbors and visitors, improving our connections to the community," the city says.
Built on a former parking lot, the new HQ building has been on the city's wish list for years. Staffing in the building nearly doubled when Battle Creek Township merged with the city in 1983, but the footprint of the building didn't.
“We as a department are excited about this opportunity and the successful completion of this once-in-a-lifetime project,” Police Chief Jim Blocker said. The existing building will be demolished and used for parking.
When we visited the project last fall, about 60 tradespeople were employed on the project. That number dropped in half as finish work was going on in late June. The project began in May 2017.
Troy Wyatt, a Local 333 foreman for Johnson and Wood, was one of four pipe trades workers left on the project in late June. He said the new hydronic heating system at the new police station will normally employ heat from onsite gas-fired boilers, but during the coldest days will pull additional hot water heat through 2,000 feet of underground pipe from a wood-chip boiler located at City Hall. The added efficiency will save the city about 40 percent on heating bills on the coldest days of winter.
"It's been an awesome job," Wyatt said. "For the most part, we've been ahead of things from Day One, and that really hasn't changed."
CONSTRUCTION OF THE new Battle Creek Police Headquarters building at 34 N. Division is nearing completion this month, allowing the city’s law enforcement staff to move out of its extremely cramped quarters across the street.
THE CEILING of a second-floor reception area at the new Battle Creek Police Station is sanded by Earl Pillivant of Michigan Painters District Council/Local 312. He’s employed by Cook Jackson.