Arlington Heights unveils new police station, set to last 'generations'
Arlington Heights' new police station -- at least two decades in the making and slightly delayed by a Nov. 11 car crash into its lobby -- got its formal unveiling Monday ahead of its public opening in the coming weeks.
The $27.9 million police department headquarters, built in place of the old station at 200 E. Sigwalt St., was host to tours and a ribbon-cutting Monday night for village officials and other stakeholders involved in the 20-month-long construction project.
The new two-level, 70,500-square-foot building is between village hall, which opened in 2008, and fire station #1, built in 2006. Its public opening is expected within weeks once project "punch list" items are completed; until then, the temporary headquarters remains at 1500 W. Shure Drive.
"This police station really completes the hub of our municipal campus here that many people envisioned many years ago," said Mayor Tom Hayes during a dedication ceremony. "And now it's time for this hub to operate as the center of our service delivery for decades to come, perhaps 50 to 100 years to come."
Hayes gave a nod to former Mayor Arlene Mulder and former Village Manager Bill Dixon, both in attendance Monday night, for helping set the vision for the new police station during discussions in the 1990s.
Officials hope the building has staying power, unlike the former 38-year-old cop shop they said became cramped and outdated, and unable to meet current and future needs.
"This facility will be used by multiple generations of law enforcement professionals in service to this community," said Village Manager Randy Recklaus. "There are Arlington Heights police officers that haven't been born yet that are going to be spending their careers in this building."
When they arrive, here's what they'll see:
• Beyond the front desk and lobby where the public will arrive, the first floor contains the "nerve center" of patrol operations with TV monitors, interview rooms and a roll call area; jail cells and booking area; and an indoor garage and forensic processing bays for vehicles and large items.
• The second floor has additional interview rooms; a fitness center and locker rooms; break room and outdoor patio; office space for investigations, community services, traffic, victims' services and administration; and a memorial wall for officers killed in the line of duty.
• The basement has a wider and deeper firing range that will enable officers to practice with higher caliber guns; a training room and evidence intake and storage. Still to be installed is a shooting simulator -- described as a glorified video game -- that will test officers' skills in various scenarios.
The station includes a number of "green" features, including wooden benches, display cases, paneling and tables made of recycled village parkway ash trees that were cut down from emerald ash borer infestation. A $358,000 Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago grant helped pay for a nearby rain garden and permeable pavement in the rear parking lot and main access driveway.
The overall project was funded through a $35 million bond issue approved in January 2016.