Bid approved for rebuilding police station on Elysian Fields
The Flood Protection Authority-East, the East Bank levee authority, approved a two-month timeline for demolition of the Orleans Levee District police station at Franklin Avenue, and a 10-month timeline for rebuilding the station at Elysian Fields Avenue and Lakeshore Dr. During this transition, officers are expected to move into a substation at the Lake Vista Community Center within the next two weeks.
Wilma Heaton, director of governmental affairs for the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East, said the board met on Thursday, Sept. 21 and accepted the lowest available bidder for both demolishing the station at 1100 Franklin Avenue and constructing the next police station, located on Elysian Fields and Lakeshore Drive. C.M. Combs Construction, LLC, was awarded the contract for $2,950,000.
At the East Bank levee authority meeting, a motion was approved as well for the levee district police to use the suite at 6521 Spanish Fort Boulevard as a substation for a year. Heaton explained that additional renovations to the Lake Vista Community Center suite were necessary before Orleans Levee District officers could move in.
Heaton said there ended up being a lot more construction on the former doctor’s office to serve as a substation. “There was raw sewerage and plumbing issues, and they did put down a new floor and painted it,” Heaton added.
A new air condition unit and heat system had to be installed, and a back-up generator was also added for the office. “We’re going to end up with a very improved building,” Heaton said.
Kerry Najolia, east bank levee authority Superintendent of Police, said no particular crimes are bringing the levee police to be positioned in the community. He praised the cooperation between his organization and the Non-Flood Protection Asset Management Authority to allow for a smooth transition to another location.
“The advantage of the authority is that they own the property, so it was a real easy opportunity to take advantage of, to get relocated sooner rather than later,” Najolia said.
Najolia said he looks forward to the police being good neighbors to the community and maintaining their “footprint” in that location with future community outreach programs, even after the levee district police move into the rebuilt station on Elysian Fields and Lakeshore Drive.
“It certainly is an advantage to us to be located temporarily to the 6521 Spanish Fort address, so we’re moving in the right direction,” Najolia said.