CHAMPAIGN, Ill., (WCIA) — One city in Champaign County is looking to improve some of its buildings. Kris Koester with Champaign’s Public Works Department said the potential improvements won’t only help the employees inside, but the community outside.
Champaign City Council is looking over the proposal on Tuesday night. If passed, changes could come to the buildings where first responders work and live every day.
It’s not clear what the changes would look like yet. It’s all in the beginning stages.
If the proposal is passed, the Champaign Police Department could be one of the buildings seeing improvements. Various fire stations and the Public Works building could all see renovations as well.
Koester said as the city grows, so do the needs of citizens. That means he feels they need to keep up with renovations before things get worse, end up costing more money, or compromising safety.
“Construction as we’re seeing now with everything that’s going on is prices are already going up compared to where they were two years ago, three years ago, five years ago,” he said. “We can start getting ideas on what these things might cost, we can start setting aside money and doing minimal repairs.”
He said the Public Works building was finished in 1977, and now, they need to re-think how and where they fix police cars, tractors and fire trucks.
“It was built with six mechanic bays and now vehicles are much larger, especially fire trucks,” Koester said. “Our public works mechanics work on all several hundred pieces of equipment that belong to the city.”
There are three phases to the proposed plan. First, they would survey the buildings to see problem areas. Then, they would meet with officials to discuss maximizing the space. Later, a team would create floor plans and cost estimates.
If it’s a go, Koester said they could have blueprints by May.
He added that to pay for the improvements, it’s all coming out of the Capital Improvement Project Budget and will not cost taxpayers more money.