Cape officials break ground for police station

From left, police Lt. John "Buddy" Davis, councilman Bob Fox, councilman Robbie Guard, councilman Wayne Bowen, assistant police chief Mark Majoros, Mayor Harry Rediger, Tom Kiefner, city manager Scott Meyer, councilman Victor Gunn, assistant police chief Jack Wimp, city building and code enforcement manager Anna Kangas and police chief Wes Blair break ground Wednesday on the site of the new Cape Girardeau Police Department station at 2530 Maria Louise Lane.
Laura Simon

Cape Girardeau city officials broke ground Wednesday on an $11 million police station that will look out on Arena Park.

The 35,500-square-foot facility will be about double the size of the existing police station, officials said.

A 3,300-square-foot, metal storage building also will be erected on the new police-station property at 2530 Maria Louise Lane.

It will house police and jail operations as well as municipal court. The city court currently operates out of city hall in the same space where the city council holds its meetings.

The structure will have two public entrances: one for the municipal court and the other for the police department.

An artist's rendering of the front entrance of the forthcoming Cape Girardeau police station near Arena Park.
Courtesy of city of Cape Girardeau

Mayor Harry Rediger said, "We will turn the shovel on a new era for the police department."

The current police station on South Sprigg, which opened 40 years ago, is outdated and too small for today's police department needs, Rediger said. The new station will allow officers to be "more efficient and proficient in their duties," he added.

The new station, slated to be completed in early 2018, will have improved security, city officials said. It will have expanded space for evidence storage and be handicapped accessible.

Unlike the existing station which houses the city jail on the second floor, the new building will be a single-story structure with a secure entrance for the jail. The lockup will have 20 beds with room for overflow as needed.

There will be better security for municipal court, officials said. With the city court and jail housed in the same structure, there no longer will be a need to transport prisoners. The new facility is designed to separate court offices, prisoners, the public and employees, officials said.

This is map of the site of the Cape Girardeau police station that will be built.
Courtesy of city of Cape Girardeau

Police Chief Wes Blair said the new station will better serve police operations. He said he could think of no better place for the new station than "on the outskirts" of Arena Park.

Blair said the building will include a community room that can be used by the public while providing space for law enforcement needs.

"It really is the community's building," Blair said.

City manager Scott Meyer said the design-build project is being funded with fire sales, restaurant and casino taxes.

The site of the new station long has been owned by the city. The Army Reserve had leased the structure.

The building was recently demolished. Site work is underway.

The design-build team of Kiefner Brothers Inc. and Chiodini Architects said remodeling the former Army Reserve building to current seismic and safety standards would not be cost-effective, officials said.

As for the current police station, city staff concluded it is not feasible to convert it to a city hall or city service center, Meyer said. Once police and jail operations are relocated to the new facility, Meyer said the city would seek to sell the old station.

mbliss@semissourian.com

(573) 388-3641

Pertinent address:

2530 Maria Louise Lane, Cape Girardeau, Mo.

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