Armory’s future up for debate
If money were no object, Police Chief Bruce Owens would like a new police station on the Berlin G. Myers Parkway.
Money is a consideration, though, so the town will try to compare the costs of building a new station, refurbishing the old National Guard Armory on North Hickory Street into a police station, and renovating the old Armory to act as an indoor recreational facility.
If the Armory were to be used as a police station, a second floor would need to be added, Owens said.
Last year, the town moved its municipal court from a shared building with the police station on West 2nd Street North to Town Hall, allowing the police to expand into the former court space.
That arrangement should work for about five years before the police department again outgrows its space, town officials believe.
Councilman Aaron Brown said he doesn’t want to spend money turning the Armory into a police station only to have the department outgrow that space after another five years.
“We might need more of a permanent vision toward building a public safety facility,” he said.
Parking will always be an issue at the Armory, Brown said.
Councilman Walter Bailey said the town should get estimates for all possibilities so it can work them into the capital improvement plan.
“We need to do something with it. It’s sitting there, deteriorating,” he said.