Standing in a detective's office where the ceiling was ripped down after a leak, Chief Jared Mills talks during a tour of the Augusta Police Station. (KJ photo by Joe Phelan/Staff Photographer)

Current Augusta Police station not worth renovating, architects report

in Augusta/City Government/West Side

It’s not yet clear where the next Augusta Police station will be located, but architects made it clear renovating the current deteriorating station wouldn’t make much sense.

Ellen Angel, co-owner of Artifex Architects and Engineers, a firm hired to assist the city in designing its next police station, said her firm’s analysis of the current station on Union Street confirmed what some city officials already suspected. The building has significant problems, including a deteriorating exterior that has reached the end of its life expectancy, a leaky roof, inadequate ventilation, undrinkable water, windows that are failing and a lack of security. It also has numerous areas that wouldn’t meet modern building codes, including a requirement the building meet specific “Category 4” codes required of essential public safety buildings.

The problems with the 1940s-era, former Navy Reserve building next to the Kennebec Valley YMCA property could take up to $12.7 million to address.

Even after making all those improvements to the old building, Rob Manns, vice president of Manns Woodward Studios — a Maryland firm that specializes in public safety buildings — told city councilors last week that the city would likely only get another 20 or 25 years out of it. A new structure would be expected to last 50 years or more, for a price likely to be about the same.