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Home Road Trip Why Schaumburg started planning for new police station with a road trip

Why Schaumburg started planning for new police station with a road trip

by Staff

Schaumburg’s plan to soon replace its dated, 48-year-old police station took a major step last week as officials visited newer buildings in Mount Prospect, Aurora and Oswego to get a look at what’s needed for a mid-21st century department.

Village Manager Brian Townsend said a top goal for 2024 is to end the year with completed designs for a new police station and new village hall, keeping each in contention to begin construction in the spring of 2025.

Site selection for the new police station likely will be among the factors determining the order of the two projects, he added.

The design process for the rebuilt village hall will be aided by similar visits to newer ones in Palatine, Wheeling and Glenview next week.

The three police stations visited were suggested by Schaumburg’s architectural consultants to demonstrate different possibilities for new facilities, including their configuration as one-, two- or three-story buildings.

“As with any big project, it’s important you bring on good expertise and good insight,” Townsend said. “The primary point (of the visits) was to familiarize the board with newer police stations.”

Mayor Tom Dailly said he embarked on the tour wondering how helpful it would be given his lack of expertise with policing, but found it enlightening in the creation of specific goals.

The three benchmarks he identified were that a new police station had to be welcoming for residents and the business community, create a better environment for officers and civilian staff, and streamline the process for bringing offenders in and out.

“The three places we went to all do that, and they do it well,” Dailly said.

In contrast, he finds Schaumburg’s current police station to be “terribly lacking.”

Though building design was the primary focus of the visits, they also demonstrated different approaches to site selection. While Mount Prospect’s station is close to the village’s major commercial hub, Oswego built its further afield.

Townsend said Mount Prospect highlighted the efficiency of a single-story facility and the security of enclosed staff parking, and Oswego’s two-story station is emblematic of a community still growing.

Aurora’s station was the largest, not only in height but in being divided between two buildings. Built in 2009, it was the oldest of three, with the others demonstrating a newer trend of trying to balance more natural light with security.

Schaumburg Police Chief Bill Wolf said a hope for the new station is to create a better environment for staff and be welcoming to residents who would use its new and improved community rooms.

The visits showed the possibilities and demonstrated the shortcomings of Schaumburg’s current station for modern policing, he added.

“It doesn’t show off Schaumburg as it should,” Wolf said.

Townsend said he learned that an up-to-date facility can be an asset to recruiting prospective officers.

“It shows how much the community supports the department,” he said.

Though site selection wasn’t a major talking point during the tour, it will inevitably play a significant role in the design of a new station.

One location favored during an early discussion in September is the village-owned property on the west side of Plum Grove Road, which connects internally with the village hall campus on the southeast corner of Schaumburg Road and Summit Drive.

But board members also asked Townsend to not rule out the possibility of a site closer to the Woodfield Mall commercial district.

The cost estimate for a new police station is $110 million, while a new village hall is expected to cost about half that.

Mount Prospect’s three-year-old police station was among the newer facilities visited by Schaumburg officials last week as they plan to build a new police station for the village.
Daily Herald File Photo, 2020

The break room of the Mount Prospect police station exemplifies how the three-year-old facility combines natural light and security, which Schaumburg officials want to emulate with an efficient and inviting replacement for their village’s own 48-year-old station.
Courtesy of Mount Prospect Police Department

The community room of the three-year-old Mount Prospect police station is an example of the newer type of facility Schaumburg officials are eager to design to replace their village’s 48-year-old building with one of better use for both staff and the general public.
Courtesy of Mount Prospect Police Department

The three-year-old Mount Prospect police station pictured here was among three 21st century facilities Schaumburg officials looked at last week for inspiration in designing a replacement for their village’s own which opened in 1976.
Courtesy of Mount Prospect Police Department

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