Police Station and Municipal Court Replacement Facility Project
The City of Bainbridge Island is planning to build a Police and Municipal Court replacement facility. For more than 20 years, police and municipal court staff have worked in buildings with numerous deficiencies that do not support modern law enforcement or appropriate accommodations for judicial services. A 2014 study concluded the facilities are a seismic risk, lack security, and are outdated for conducting effective and essential civic services.
In April 2021, City staff postponed construction bid advertising for the retrofit of the 8804 Madison Avenue N building, purchased for $8.975 million in 2020 as the future police-court facility site, until Blair King came on board as city manager to have King lead the City through the project delivery. The postponement was also due to the ongoing City Council and community conversations about the costs of the project
During the Sept. 21 City Council study session, City Manager Blair King restarted the process for a new police-court building with the introduction of the video above that highlights the deficiencies of the current police and court facilities.
City staff will return to a future Council meeting to ask the Council to deliberate potential locations for the Police-Court building on three City-owned sites: the existing Police Station; the Suzuki property at the intersection of Sportsman Club Rd and New Brooklyn Rd; and 8804 Madison Avenue N.
Current Police Station Deficiencies
- Seismic risk: Existing building, originally built in 1945 for fire department, made of unreinforced masonry and likely to collapse during an earthquake
- No generator for power outages
- Electrical circuits inadequate to power technology and equipment
- No secure areas for moving suspects between police vehicles and building
- Unsecured staff parking (a standard in law enforcement to protect public servants and vehicles from vandalism or assault)
- Inadequate privacy for victims and the public
- Restrooms are not fully ADA compliant
- Workstations are at capacity and cramped
- Evidence room lacks adequate space
- Lacks adequate training classroom (department uses off-site spaces for all-staff meetings)
- Lacks adequate storage for bicycles and other equipment
Current Municipal Court Facility Deficiencies
- Does not meet ADA accessibility requirements
- Small courtroom puts victims and alleged perpetrators in close proximity during proceedings
- Jury must use staff workroom/break area for deliberation
- No witness stand
- Restroom doubles as hallway from break room/jury room to court office
- Not located near public bus line
- Lacks private areas for client-attorney meetings
- Thin walls do not ensure privacy
The City now owns three sites identified over the years for a new Police-Court facility. Learn about the sites below.
Existing Police Station
The current police station, located at 625 Winslow Way E, was originally built as a fire station in 1945. It later served as City Hall, then became the police headquarters in 2001. The site includes 7,546 square feet of building and 0.89 acres.
In 2000, the City purchased 13.83 acres of land at the intersection of Sportsman Club and New Brooklyn Road for $500,000 to be the future site of the Police-Court facility.
8804 Madison Avenue
The City completed the purchase of the 8804 Madison Avenue N property for $8.975 million in early 2020. The property includes a 3.13-acre parcel and an existing two-story building with approximately 18,000 square feet of space. Based on construction designs completed in 2020, the approximate cost for the project, including property purchase and renovations, is estimated to be $20 million.
When the City purchased the Madison Avenue property, the Council approved the $20 million project budget to pay for the building and construction costs.
To pay for the project, the Council decided to use $12 million in existing funds and to issue $8 million in municipal bonds. Specifically, those bonds were issued to pay for the Madison Avenue building.
The City issued a tax-exempt limited tax general obligation bond. This type of bond allows the City to pay lower interest on the debt and save money.
Municipal bonds must be used within the scope they were issued -- as originally specified to the Internal Revenue Service and investors. Deviating from the scope may affect the tax-exempt status and have significant financial consequences. It could also damage the City’s ability to maintain its strong Aaa credit rating, which would increase the cost of future borrowing, including interest paid on debt.