LIMA — Lima’s Hall of Justice building is getting an upgrade, one that aims to give people both on the law enforcement and judicial sides a little more breathing room.
The $2.1 million addition and renovation project was announced by Public Works Director Howard Elstro on Wednesday at Mayor David Berger’s weekly news conference. Opening for bids on Aug. 23, the project will help address the evolving needs for space in both the Police Department and Lima Municipal Court.
“The courts are migrating into different initiatives, and those initiatives generate additional traffic in our public areas, especially the Hall of Justice, and the judges have been choked for space for their own staffs for some years,” he said.
The move to renovate the space came after conversations with Lima Police Chief Kevin Martin, according to Berger.
“It started about a year ago during a conversation between myself and the chief,” he said. “We identified the fact that during recent rounds of hiring for police officers, we have had huge growth in the number of female officers that are now a part of the department, and I think we had two locker rooms or spaces for women.”
Berger went on to highlight that the department now has at least 25 women on staff, either in civilian positions or as officers.
The expansion, which will add 3,600 square feet of usable space, will accommodate men’s and women’s locker rooms, as well as detective offices. Additional space will also be made for judges and staff at Lima Municipal Court.
“It includes upgrades to data and communication systems, plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems,” Elstro said.
Once bids are received and the winner is chosen, construction is expected to begin Sept. 30 and continue through the end of July 2018. The expansion should accommodate the proposed expansion of the Police Department’s workforce, according to Elstro.
The project will be advertised for sale July 28 and Aug. 4.