Sterling Heights marks completion of renovations at city campus

By: Andy Kozlowski | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published August 20, 2021


STERLING HEIGHTS — The Sterling Heights City Council recently marked the completion of a $25 million project renovating City Hall, the Police Department, the library and the 41-A District Court, all located in the same campus at Utica and Dodge Park roads.

The project implemented long-term infrastructure upgrades, including building layouts that improve efficiencies, workflows and security; new 30-year roofing systems, foundation waterproofing and metal siding that is durable but eco-friendly; energy-efficient heating and cooling systems controlled by a digital building management system; energy-efficient LED fixtures and programmable lighting controls; and low-flow plumbing fixtures and bottle-filling water fountains.

Other changes and additions include multi-function ergonomic furniture, such as convertible sit/stand desks for all employees; enlarged service counters for easier resident transactions; enhanced way-finding signage; wall-mounted monitors for displaying information and running meetings; the digitization of many historical records for use by residents; and improved accessibility features at building entrances.

“There have been many technological advancements in the 20-plus years since our last renovations,” City Manager Mark Vanderpool said in a statement. “We took this opportunity to make important upgrades that improve the longevity of our buildings, while also focusing on sustainability measures that are more eco-friendly and efficient. But most importantly, we’ve made upgrades that provide more accessibility and an augmented experience for residents who come to our campus for various transactions.”

Bond issuance approval came in May 2018. The City Council then approved Roncelli Inc. as the construction manager in April 2019, and individual contracts were awarded to 38 vendors in January and February 2020.

Construction began in February 2020, close to the start of the pandemic. The work on City Hall cost $6.8 million, while the work on the Police Department cost $7.9 million, the work on the library cost $5.9 million and the work on the court cost $4.2 million. The court was finished in May, and the other three were finished last month. All changes were made within the existing building footprints — there were no expansions.

At City Hall, building entrances were improved, departments were relocated and two conference rooms were added, accessible from the hallways so that people no longer have to cross office space to reach them.

At the Police Department, security was improved in the lobby, departments were rearranged, the crime labs were updated and a new training room was added, as were new interview rooms.

In the library, departments were relocated, as well, and a new children’s area was added. Technology stations were also increased.

And at the court, security was enhanced with bullet-resistant surfaces on the exterior, a new card access system and improvements to the CCTV system.

All four buildings received improvements to roofing; lighting; plumbing; heating, cooling and ventilation systems; and furniture. The new roof installations have 30-year warranties.

All transaction counters have been improved by layout redesigns and updated technology. Buildings are more secure now and easier to navigate, thanks to new signage.

And a standard cubicle and office furniture layout was established across the entire campus that officials said will improve workplace ergonomics, with office chairs that are fully adjustable with lumbar support and desktops that are sit/stand adjustable with monitor arms that free up desk space. Lockable personal storage units are also included with each layout.

“I am very thankful for the support of City Council and city management throughout the renovation,” Jared Beaudoin, the facilities maintenance director, said in an email. “I am extremely proud of how all the buildings turned out and the significant improvements that employees and residents will utilize for years to come.”