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MailTribune.com
  • Medford officials share ideas for new cop shop

    Aesthetics and practicality were ranked high on council members' preference lists
  • The design of the new police station has to create a strong civic presence, Medford City Council members suggested Thursday.
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  • The design of the new police station has to create a strong civic presence, Medford City Council members suggested Thursday.
    "I want there to be a sense of pride when people look at that building," Councilor Chris Corcoran said.
    Councilors discussed aesthetics, particularly after some locals have criticized the look of the new Jackson County health building on West Eighth Street next to City Hall.
    The new police station would be built immediately south of the health building.
    The council met with its contractor, Adroit Construction of Ashland, and architect Ogden Roemer Wilkerson Architecture of Medford to discuss progress on the police station design.
    Two different designs will be created and brought back to the council at the end of July.
    The police headquarters and a parking garage at Ivy and 10th streets have a budget of $18.8 million.
    Corcoran said he would like a building with features of the old Jackson County Courthouse, if possible, as long as it doesn't drive up costs.
    "I'll take function over form any day of the week," he said.
    David Wilkerson of Ogden Roemer told the council that aesthetics will play a key role in the design of the building, which should offer a strong civic design.
    Other councilors had more practical concerns.
    Councilor John Michaels said he wants the ability to upgrade cables throughout the building, more attention paid to technology and the server room, as well as easy access to back-up generators.
    He suggested adding geothermal heating and cooling, which is becoming more popular on larger buildings to cut down on heating and cooling costs.
    As to design, he said, "I'm not into boxes, but not into a building that is anything fancy. I'd like to see us do something nice and with a nod to the past."
    Councilor Daniel Bunn said he doesn't want a design that will rapidly become outdated.
    "I don't want something trendy," he said. "I don't want people to walk in and say 'This looks like something from 2010.' "
    He suggested an Art Deco design along the lines of the Jackson County Courthouse, or something with brick.
    The first floor will have an open lobby area with adjoining public meeting rooms that also will be used for media events and possibly as a training room.
    An entrance known as a sally port will be located on the second floor of the parking garage to admit suspects and keep them away from the public on the first floor.
    Councilor Eli Matthews said he supported a building design that would be easily identifiable in the community.
    "We need something we can all be proud of," he said.
    Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or dmann@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter at @reporterdm.
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