The building, once a stately mansion, was not designed to house a city police department, and at the age of 160 years old, it's hardly a modern facility.
The aging structure also needs multiple repairs and upgrades and has space that is too inaccessible to be functional.
At Monday's City Council meeting, city staff discussed with council members a plan to do a facilities analysis for the Police Department.
The current budget includes $45,000 for the study this year and it's part of the city's strategic plan. A request for proposals was issued July 22 and 10 proposals were received from qualified consultants by the Sept. 6 deadline.
The proposals will be reviewed by a committee that includes city manager, police chief, director of public works and assistant police chief.
“The purpose of a police facility analysis is to develop a clear understanding of the services and functional criteria provided by the Police Department and how to best accommodate the needs of the department in a facility,” City Manager Jason Molino said.
Originally built in 1853 by George Brisbane -- the son of James Brisbane, who was Batavia's first merchant, postmaster and deputy county clerk -- it also served as City Hall starting in 1918. It's part of the Genesee County Courthouse Historic District and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.
According to the staff report prepared for Monday's meeting, there are several unused and underutilized areas within the building. They are simply inaccessibility because of the design and layout, which has been repeatedly modified over the years.
There are also several health and safety issues, as well as public accessibility issues.
Due to the structure’s age, there are considerable interior and exterior improvements that are necessary to continue to maintain the facility as a safe working environment.
The committee reviewing the 10 RFPs will conduct interviews in the next few weeks and select a recommended consultant to do the facilities analysis by Oct. 15. The council will vote on the proposal at it's business meeting that evening.
The City expects to receive a study that will adequately analyze the department’s operational needs and examine potential facility options. These include improving the current facility, new construction, building an addition to the existing Genesee County Sheriff’s Facility on Park Road, or retrofitting another existing building.
“Each option will include a conceptual estimate of design costs, construction costs, review of operational effectiveness and appropriateness, as well as concept drawings,” Molino said.
The City intends to have the study completed within three to four months of selecting a consultant.
Photo: File photo.