Structural problems in 100-year-old building force Platte City Police Department to move

05/14/2013 12:51 PM

05/20/2014 10:44 AM

Over the past century, the Platte City Civic Center has been the site of a high school, the city’s police department, various municipal offices, and even hosted youth dances but it mainly has served as a hub for community activity.

Today, portions of the century-old structure at Missouri 92 and 4th Street badly needs repairs, according to city officials.

The city’s police department recently moved out of the civic center after a number of structural problems revealed. The discovery was made while workers were replacing a floor in the east wing of the center where the police department was located.

“It was intended to be a relatively simple repair project,” said City Administrator D.J. Gehrt. “We immediately knew we had a significantly larger project than we had intended.”

Once workers pulled off the sheeting, they noticed mold and dry rot was causing joists to fail. Parts scattered as workers peeled away the sheeting, Gehrt said.

Other structural problems were discovered throughout the east wing.

Because of those structural problems, the police department moved in early May to 355 Main Street, close to the Platte County Courthouse and the Platte City Hall. The city pays $1,400 in monthly rent. Police Chief Carl Mitchell said the new location will house the department administrative operations.

The Platte County Sheriff’s office provides dispatch services for the police department and municipal inmates are housed in the county detention center.

“Right now, we are looking at this as a temporary location until all of the studies come back and give the community some options.” Mitchell said.

The main portion of the building, where the high school was housed, was built in 1910. The east wing where the police department was housed was built in 1939.

Today, municipal court sessions are held in the western portion of the building and the city’s parks and recreation department continues to be housed there. No structural problems were found in that portion of the building, Gehrt said.

The city plans to hire a consulting firm to conduct a facilities study that would help determine how much it would cost to fully rehab the building. That would help the board of aldermen determine its future use.

Gehrt said the city wants the police department to move back into the civic center eventually.

“Rather than getting further into this project and when we are done, we are still dealing with an 100-year-old building that has other issues, we want to make a decision thoughtfully,” he said, “and that is where we are at.”

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