New Brookings public safety building up for debate

Local News

BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) — The public safety building in Brookings isn’t as safe as it used to be, so the city is looking to make a major investment in infrastructure.

The city council is trying to decide if it makes more sense to renovate the 60-year-old police station or tear it down and build a new one.

The Brookings public safety building has changed a lot in 60 years.

“There was an addition and an update made in the 1980’s,” said Brookings Deputy Mayor Nick Wendell.

But the building is starting to show its age and needs a lot of work.

“There’s lot of infrastructure type of issues, we’ve got some roof and electrical, some plumbing issues, some HVAC, kind of all those big costly repairs. The interior of the building has been kind of cobbled together,” said Wendell.

Deputy Mayor Nick Wendell says the minimum cost estimate for those repairs is around two million dollars.

“If we’re going to put two million dollars into a facility that really isn’t meeting the current needs of the Brookings police department as it is, what would the construction of a new facility that would better meet our needs look like?” said Wendell.

The city has already earmarked seven million dollars for the work. City councilor Wayne Avery says he thinks there is public support for a new facility if that’s their decision.

“The facilities we have in Brookings are really first rate and we want our police station to reflect that, to be on par with everything else. We just would like to have a facility that goes along with the quality of the people we have working for us,” said Brookings city councilman Wayne Avery.

“I think we all know place matters, and so the facilities we ask our police officers to work within, does, I think, impact their morale. These are dedicated public servants that work to keep our community safe. I think it’s important that we listen to their feedback and make investments in the building that we’re asking them to work in day in and day out,” said Wendell.

There’s not a timetable for the work at this time.

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