When the City of York determined the current City Hall Building was undersized for administrative operations, a move to an existing building downtown was made. The 132-person Police Department was the only function to remain in the four-story facility at the corner of Beaver and King Streets. Based on a feasibility study developed by BHA, City officials determined the location of City Hall made it an ideal candidate for renovation and would allow adequate space for a modern police facility. Though limited by a small footprint, the final design solution separates the demands of holding, patrol, detective, and administration.
BHA developed a detailed program that was used to create a successful design solution. The building is organized to allow officers convenient access to evidence processing, duty bags, and locker facilities. Detectives use a secure entrance and have direct access to holding and interview rooms. Regrading of the tight site provided access to a two-car sallyport on the lower level with direct access to individual and group holding areas. Complying with state and national accreditation standards, individual holding areas are provided for male/female and adult/juvenile detainees.
Construction was completed in four phases while the building remained occupied. Individual departments were moved several times to keep areas secure during construction. The seldom-used fourth floor is now used for training, fitness, and evidence storage due to the installation of a new elevator on the interior of the building, as the local Historical Review Board would not permit major exterior modifications. New perimeter fencing and the placement of an emergency generator also required Board approval. York City residents visiting the newly renovated building have limited access to the main lobby, which features impregnable transaction windows for Police and Records. An interview room and secure toilet room are the only other spaces accessible by the public.
Upgrades included selected new finishes and major MEP upgrades. The design provides space for police administration, uniformed patrol division, investigative services, neighborhood enforcement division, support services/records, juvenile crime unit, prisoner handling, evidence, police support areas, armory, and locker rooms. The design complies with PA UCC, IBC building codes, and CALEA police regulations.
Even though the construction project took longer than anticipated, there is not a single design element I would change. The building just works. Scott [Loercher] and his team did a fantastic job incorporating the building program into our existing facility. I would tell anyone planning to do a police station project, just call Buchart Horn Architects.
Steven Butler, Captain, York City Police Department