Construction on the new Gardner Justice Center at the location of 167th and Moonlight Road is still scheduled to begin this June, with completion next year.
The law enforcement center will house both the police department and the municipal court, accounting for nearly 50 employees. There will be a detention facility.
Gardner staff is still in the design process for the New Gardner Justice Center.  “As such, the team has reviewed the future staffing requirements and program needs in detail, and developed alternative floor plans and site layouts,” Michael Kramer, Gardner public works director, said. The design team is in the beginning stages of the final design of the preferred building floor plan configuration.
“The building footprint is currently 31,906 sqft. as measured to the outside face of the exterior walls (consistent with the original space needs study),” Kramer, said.
“The project is scheduled to begin construction in June of this year, with construction lasting about 11 months,” said Kramer. “We do not have drawings to share with the public at this time, as they are draft drawings, and include potentially sensitive police safety information.  We will have addition information, drawings, and site renderings to share with the public in the future.”
Voters approved the funding to construct the Justice Center in 2017; it was planned to be an approximately 30,000 square-foot structure. The size of the facility will address the current spacing issues and continual growth of the community as well as the police department, according to the 2015 space-needs study.
At the March 5 meeting, Lee Moore, council president, said he’d seen public discussion where people were alarmed to hear the Justice Center construction project was over budget. He referred to an internal memo that he thought explained it well, and asked staff to explain.
Kramer said at this stage of planning it is expected the project be “overbudget,” due to built in contingencies in early estimates. However, Kramer said he was confident that the Justice Center would be completed on budget.
Architects started design concepts based on input from city, including police, court, planning, public works, and information technology, and in September the council authorized the city administrator to execute an agreement with TreanorHL for architectural professional services for the new Gardner Justice Center in the amount of $965,000 for basic services, $25,000 for FFE design and allowances of $61,500 for reimbursable expenses.
Plans for the current police facility’s use after the Justice Center is completed are still undetermined, Kramer said.