Sioux City's police and fire headquarters have fallen into disrepair over the past two decades, and those who work there said temporary fixes won't cut it anymore.
Monday night, Sioux City leaders gave the police department the okay to negotiate with an architect to upgrade their building.
Cracks in the ceiling and holes in the wall are just two problems the police department is looking at to find a permanent fix.
"This building runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. So, it gets a lot of heavy use, and things become in need of repair," Police Captain, Melvin Williams, said.
Williams said the building is 26 years old and the city has put in anywhere from $300,000 to $500,000 for the past few years trying to resolve its issues.
A major concern are three sides of the building which are constructed of metal panels. They expand and contract based on the weather and become a serious problem when it rains.
"We've developed leaks in those. We've tried recaulking around those panels and around those windows and re-installing those windows and we can't seal up the leaks," Williams said.
Water leaking through the cracks into the building is more than a cosmetic problem.
"We're worried about, of course, employee safety issues. With the current building the way that the water penetrates through the roof and through the side walls, that leads to the potential for growing mold," Williams said.
"We don't need mold in the building. Once we know there's a potential for mold, the remedies for that get very costly. You're better off spending money up front then you are to wait until it becomes a real problem," Sioux City Mayor, Bob Scott, said.
Williams said the problems don't end there. Add another concern to the list: the air handling system.
"It's supposed to keep the air quality in the building up and running. It hasn't been working for over 10 years now," Williams said.
"We have some issues there and we need to quit band-aiding them and quit doing one room at a time and actually get a plan together - what it's going to cost and fix it," Scott said.
Williams expects the project to cost just over $2.5 million based on past estimates.
He said he hopes to have all of the renovations on the building completed by January 2015.
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