City’s new police station awaits approval 

The city always knew the San Mateo police station, built in 1962, would be growing, so the building was made large enough to expand with the department. But there was one thing the builders never saw coming.

"The original police station was built at a time when there was no thought of female police officers, so our new station will have the locker facilities for men and women," City Manager Arne Croce said.

Women on San Mateo’s force use a makeshift locker room in the facility, but in approximately 18 months, they could have their own dedicated changing rooms in the city’s new police station. The station — to be built on 2.2 acres of land at Saragota Drive and Franklin Parkway — will also meet all California seismic stability guidelines, a cause of concern, Croce said, with the old station.

Financing is in place, and on Wednesday the City Council and Redevelopment Agency could give the green light to a project almost 10 years in the making. The new station will be two-stories tall with 54,000 square feet of space and 187 parking spaces in above- and below-ground lots. While bond sales and general funds will account for the lion’s share of the $58,535,000 project, the city will "recycle" its current station to raise just over $6 million for the project.

The Redevelopment Agency plans to buy the building from the city for $6,035,000 in housing funds. It will then be leased back to the city until the new station is completed, and Neighborhood Improvement and Housing Director Robert Meuhlbauer said the agency will then land-bank the site until a proper housing use can be decided on.

Finance Director Hossein Golestan said the city will also allot $3,434,000 in local hotel and motel tax revenues.

Project Manager Patty McHugh said the city is pushing for a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design "silver" certification by using renewable resources forbuilding materials, taking advantage of natural light and providing changing rooms and bike-storage facilities to encourage alternative transportation.

"We’re working to make sure the occupants of the building have a high quality working environment," McHugh said. "Seventy-five percent of the spaces will receive day lighting, and there are views outside from about 90 percent of the space."

The new station will be discussed at the special council meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Council Chambers, 330 W. 20th Ave.

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