Mount Pleasant Police Station
When it was time to address the cramped conditions in the Mount Pleasant Police Station, civic leaders started first by looking at the resources they had at hand. Mount Pleasant City Administrator Brent Schleisman says the city always looks first at reusing existing infrastructure. “We set a successful precedent with our old high school. It became home to our library, community gymnasium, school district offices, Head Start program, Area Education Agency and public meeting space.” For the police department, one property stood out as a potential solution: a vacant supermarket located close to the city center.
The 18,000-square-foot supermarket had more than enough space to meet the needs of the Mount Pleasant Police Department, which was used to working in a 4,000-square-foot space. High on its list of priorities were centralized file storage and adequate evidence storage, along with more adequate spaces for officers to file reports, work out, and shower.
The final layout expanded office and support areas to 8,000 square feet, with the remaining square footage to be used for non-conditioned storage and vehicle maintenance areas. The location of existing utilities was key to developing the interior room layout to prevent rerouting of piping and ductwork.
To give the low-slung building a civic presence, a new lobby with large windows and high ceilings became the feature of the front façade, set against a backdrop of brick matching the historic buildings in the city square. The large parking lot was reduced to a more adequate size and the remaining area was landscaped for a welcome change. The building features stormwater retention in the new front lawn and a new “cool” EPDM roof with increased insulation to help reduce cooling costs.
Few things affect an area faster than revitalizing a vacant structure. The old supermarket offered such a large building and parking areas that the impact of a new green lawn fronting a new façade was immediate. The building was recognized by the Main Street Iowa program, with an honorable mention for “best adaptive use of a building.”
The impact was also felt in the city budget by creating a new facility for a small fraction of what a new building would cost. In addition to reaping the economic benefits of reusing an existing building, The City of Mount Pleasant received from funds from the State of Iowa for being the first executed IJOBS project in the state.