At a budget meeting this week, the City Council learned that it will cost as much as $55,000 to renovate a vacant storefront at 1501 First Ave. SE as the Police Department turns the space into its first district station.
In the last few weeks, Police Chief Greg Graham noted that the building’s owner was providing the building rent-free, though he has noted that, among other items, the city needed to put in a first-floor bathroom as part of the renovation work.
Graham this week told the council that he was meeting with contractors and suppliers yet this week, and he said he still hoped to have the district station open and operating by mid-June.
The cost of the renovation may be less than expected, he noted, because he said some contractors and suppliers want to donate work and supplies.
The chief, who arrived from Ocala, Fla., on June 1, 2009, has wanted to open district police stations, and, in fact, has plans for two others.
But the move to open the one at 1501 First Ave. SE comes about six weeks now after police officer Tim Davis was assaulted and hospitalized while investigating a robbery just two blocks from the site of the new district police station. Three teenagers have been arrested in the matter. Davis returned home from the hospital on Thursday.