Kahley ... the police chief plans to host open houses when the project is complete.
Kahley ... the police chief plans to host open houses when the project is complete.

Renovations to the York City Police Department's station are chugging along slower than planned.

But the project is still expected to stay within its $5.6 million budget, said Jim Gross, the city's public works director.

"I don't see it going above that," Gross said.

However, the project's contractors could walk away with a bigger paycheck than originally agreed upon. That's because workers have spent more time upgrading the building.

Gross said the city has achieved savings by foregoing minor parts of the renovation. Some money set aside for contingency will be used to cover the contractors' added time.

"There is some debate with the contractors. There's no question about that," Gross said.

He said the city has offered to pay "what we feel is fair," he said.

The project: Work began in late 2012 to modernize the station with upgrades including new prisoner cells, an updated evidence storage system and flood-proof locker rooms. A state grant is covering the $5 million price tag.

WellSpan also contributed $600,000 to cover the cost of a police training center, which will serve as a classroom and computer lab for police officers to complete training and continue their education.

Gross said he's hoping the project is completed by the end of July. In February, he'd said the project would be done in April.

The discovery of significant asbestos behind walls and ceilings throughout the 50 W. King St. building delayed the project.


"We were opening things up and because of that, we had to abate the asbestos," Gross said. "We certainly discovered more than we expected."

There were also some problems installing a new phone system, he said.

Chief's view: Police Chief Wes Kahley said he's learned not to project a completion date.

"I guess I'm just at a point of when it's finished, it's finished," Kahley said.

The department's officers and support staff have had to relocate several times inside the building as the project moves along. The front desk, for example, is noticeably displaced.

"You can see just by walking in the front door of our building that they're not where they need to be," Kahley said.

But progress continues to be made, he said.

"The building looks completely different inside than what it did before," Kahley said.

Kahley has said he will pursue state accreditation of the department when the project is complete. Accreditation is not required, but is given to departments with facilities and policies that comply with recognized standards.

When the project is finally done, the city will host open houses for the public. Those will be scheduled after historical artifacts are brought in from the Police Heritage Museum, Kahley said.

"We also want to give anyone coming into the building an understanding of the history," he said. "It's a public building, so we definitely want people to come in and see it."

— Reach Erin James at ejames@yorkdispatch.com.