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Allentown business owners get first look at plans for new Zone 3 police station


December 16, 2008

Architect Martha Giraldo points out some of the features of the new Zone 3 Police Station to a group of Allentown business owners. The new public safety facility is slated to open in spring of 2009.

Last week nearly 30 Allentown business people gathered for breakfast hosted by the Allentown Community Development Corp. at Trenta, on the second floor of Alla Famiglia to learn more about the Zone 3 police station slated to move to Warrington Avenue in the spring of 2009.

Ken Wolfe, chief of staff for District 3 Councilman Bruce Kraus, brought floor plans for the renovation of the former bank building and youth hostel. Architect Martha Giraldo was also on hand to explain what will be required to convert the building for public safety use.

Although the building underwent a $1 million plus renovation a decade ago to convert it from a bank into a youth hostel, another $1.8 million has been approved for renovations to the four-story structure to be used as a police station. Ms. Giraldo explained that some of the required work will be to make the building handicapped accessible and ADA compliant.

She said that although the building was made ADA compliant in the first renovation, standards have changed requiring the upgrade.

The biggest change the public will see to the building will be that the large exterior first floor windows will be removed and replaced with a public art. Mr. Wolfe said the window removal was a safety issue to prevent anyone from shooting into the building.

Visitors coming into the building will be required to sign in before being admitted through the Arlington Avenue entrance. Inside the building there will be separate locker rooms for men and women, a conference room on the top floor, offices for the crime prevention officer and for the local building inspector and a gym with Nautilus equipment for use by all officers in the city.

Mr. Wolfe said the plans do not call for any holding cells on the premises. He added that there will be a bench where suspects can be temporarily detained along with an interview room.

Parking for police vehicles will be provided at the lot on the corner of Arlington and Manton as well as four on-street spaces on Arlington Avenue immediately outside of the new station.

Kyra Strausmann of the Urban Redevelopment Authority said they are continuing to look at options for providing parking for police officers' private vehicles.


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