A city of Orchard Lake project that began after a $4.5 million bond proposal was approved has come to fruition.

A city of Orchard Lake project that began after a $4.5 million bond proposal was approved has come to fruition.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Orchard Lake completes major police department project

By: Mark Vest | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published October 8, 2023


ORCHARD LAKE — An idea that was conceived of years ago has come to fruition for the city of Orchard Lake.

Orchard Lake City Services Director Gerry McCallum estimated that it was between five and seven years ago that the city’s Planning Commission put together a capital improvement plan that included adding space to the Orchard Lake Police Department and constructing a new Department of Public Works facility.

After voters approved a $4.5 million bond proposal to pay for the project, according to McCallum, construction began in June of last year and was completed around July this year.

“(The) only thing that we haven’t finished yet is the landscaping,” McCallum said. “As far as the buildings go, we are full occupancy — Police Department’s in their building, DPW’s in their building. The buildings are 100% complete.”

The additional space at the Police Department is approximately 4,500 square feet and includes a new office space, holding cells and a sally port for bringing detainees into a security area.

The project also included an attached garage for police vehicles, which is approximately 5,000 square feet.

The new DPW facility is near the Police Department garage and is approximately 6,000 square feet.

McCallum credited the Orchard Lake City Council and residents for helping to make the project, which he said came in on budget, a reality.

“The Department of Public Works has got all their equipment in there … the Police Department as well,” McCallum said. “We have larger restrooms and changing facilities for both male and female officers. Everybody is very, very happy, and I think the morale is really boosted by having these type of features.”

Orchard Lake Police Chief William Nicholson said that he is pleased with how the project turned out.

“It’s a great improvement, and the fact that it came in at budget, especially just after (the) COVID situation … very happy about that also,” Nicholson said.

Nicholson discussed the primary advantages of the additions to the facility.

“Everything, all the way around, compared to what we had — the safety of the officers and the public — the fact that our vehicles are now secured,” he said. “They won’t be able to be vandalized; they’re not out in the open all night — they’re now in the garage. (There’s) more space for everybody to work in.”

Michael Lee is the foreman of the Orchard Lake DPW. He described his new work space as fantastic.

“It has 23-foot ceilings, and then it has an office area, which is nice to be able to have my own office in there,” Lee said. “We’re able to do a lot more stuff. We’re able to have our lift for working on police cars and whatnot. (It’s) able to raise up all the way so you can work on a car.”

McCallum has been employed by Orchard Lake for approximately 24 years.

He recalled a significant water and sewer project that the city took on prior to his arrival. But as for his time with Orchard Lake, the Police Department and DPW facility project is among the largest he’s been a part of.

“It was probably the biggest one I’ve ever done here as an employee of the city,” McCallum said. “It was a daily task on making decisions. I wasn’t involved in the water and sewer project. I know that was much bigger than this thing, but still, this had to be one of the biggest projects that I’ve ever been involved in, in my tenure here.”

Residents can take a tour of the City Hall expansion at an open house that is scheduled for 1-4 p.m. Oct. 22 at Orchard Lake City Hall, located at 3955 Orchard Lake Road.