Kansas City has approved the design for construction of a North Patrol Division Station, a 25,000-square-foot facility that will replace an outdated north station and better accommodate the way police work is done today.
The existing North Patrol Division Station, at 1001 N.W. Barry Road in Kansas City, will be sold after the new station opens in the summer of 2016.
The new North Patrol Division Station will be located at 10610 N.W. Prairie View Road on 15 acres of land owned by the Kansas City International Airport.
Maj. Sharon Laningham, construction division commander for the Kansas City Police Department, noted that police work has changed drastically since the existing station was constructed in the 1970s. The old station has become outdated, Laningham said.
One important new addition to the station is a community room, which will be made available for non-profit groups to use to meet.
“We like to partner with the community…providing them a space in which to meet is one way we can do that,” Laningham said. “With the community’s help, we can solve crime and hopefully prevent crime.”
City architect Eric Bosch said the community room is a way for the department to reach out to the community and will give residents an opportunity to engage with officers.
“We want them to feel this is part of their community,” he said, adding that he didn’t want the space to become just people coming to the station to report a crime.
He said the new facility is estimated to cost a total of $12.1 million, including the cost of design, construction and furniture. Contractor bids are due in to the city on June 23, so that number could change.
The cost of the new facility will be paid from a quarter-cent Public Safety Sales Tax voters approved in 2002, according to a city press release. In 2010, that tax was extended another 15 years.
A press release stated: “The quarter-cent sales tax renewal means the City of Kansas City, Missouri, can complete worthwhile capital improvements, including providing modern facilities for police officers and giving police more tools to investigate crime.”
The existing station has some deficiencies, according to the city.
It has problems with its roof and lacks an emergency power generator, Laningham said.
The circulation at the old station is poor, and the building has mechanical and plumbing problems as well as adjacency issues, Bosch said, referring to the location of various departments separated apart from each other rather than in close proximity.
The current station was constructed in 1976 and at the time it opened in 1977 had 15 officers assigned to it, Laningham said. Today it has 95 officers and civilian personnel, so it is crowded.
The current station, which is less than half the size of the new station plan has deficiencies, according to the release at http://saferkc.com/north/.
▪ Aging building
▪ Landlocked with inadequate parking
▪ Roof leaks
▪ Sewer problems
▪ Lighting problems
▪ No emergency generator
▪ HVAC problems
▪ Design and size do not meet community needs
According to the floor plan, the new station will have space for the following departments: administration, circulation, common staff areas, detention, front desk/ desk sergeants, maintenance, mechanical, patrol, property crimes and a public community meeting room.
Andrew Pitts is a principal architect with the Kansas City-based firm of Treanor Architects, P.A., which led the team that designed the new station.
Pitts said the one-story building will sit on a high point on the property. "We wanted (it) on a site that could be well seen from I-29, both northbound and southbound.”
“We also wanted the building to feel very natural within the setting so we used natural materials on the exterior, such as limestone, wood and decorative masonry,” he said.
He said the public lobby is a story and a half with clerestory windows on all sides to allow natural light into the lobby and staff areas for the police.
“We have designed the layout to meet the program needs of today’s policing and also allow flexibility for the future,” he said.
The community room has an outdoor patio for groups in the Northland to use, he added.
About 120 officers will report to the new station, Bosch said.
“The Northland of Kansas City is approximately 40 percent developed at this point, with a strong potential for population growth and commercial development,” a release noted. “The North Patrol Division facility will be built with a long-range view of an eventual increase in law enforcement staffing.”
Laningham said the city does not have to pay the airport for use of its land as site for the station.
“The airport was glad to partner with the police department,” she said, adding this will save about $2 million that will be used in the construction of the building.
The city estimates the project will break ground in the summer of 2015.