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Examiner
  • Council gets latest look at public safety building plans

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  • Say good-bye to the Blue Springs water tower adjacent to the Howard L. Brown Public Safety Building.
    The tower will be removed once construction begins on expanding and remodeling the public safety building this April. Representatives from both Burns and McDonnell and Treanor Justice presented an update of the project by showing renderings of the building's final concept during Tuesday's City Council meeting. As previously reported in November, the existing facility will be converted into a three-level building that will include both front and rear entrances, larger parking lots to the east and south sides of the site, an increased detention area with a separate section for juveniles, and a considerably larger court/council chamber.
    The council seemed to have no qualms about the finalized plan, however, Councilwoman Susan Culpepper objected to the building's exterior facade saying the contemporary look will clash with the ongoing downtown renovations just a few blocks away.
    "It seems the overall look has changed since the last time I saw these renderings," said Culpepper in reference to a slide showing the main entrance of the planned remodeling. She cites the old-fashioned, brick facade of many downtown Blue Springs buildings such as America's Community Bank will not match the modern design of the new public safety building.
    Councilman Kent Edmondson reassured her that the building will "not match the flavor of downtown" because it is fortified structure that will house the city's police department and other related safety programs.
    Mayor Carson Ross, on the other hand, pointed out that any substantial changes made at this point will cause issues.
    "We're so far downstream with this project already," said Ross. "Time is money."
    Nevertheless, the council seemed pleased with the final result and will be moving to an interim location to hold future council meetings once ground breaks for the building's expansion and remodeling in early April. Their first relocated meeting will be held April 7 at Vesper Hall on 400 NW Vesper St. Court will also be moved to a different location during that time. The city of Blue Springs will hold municipal court at the lumber yard building starting in April as well.
    The remodeling project is expected to be completed by July 2015 while the Barrett Park annex building which is intended to be both an animal shelter and Blue Springs Police tactical operations equipment storage facility is expected to be finished a month later in August 2015.
    "This has been three and a half years in the making, but you have a year and a half to pull it off," remarked Councilman Ron Fowler to the project's representatives.

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