Renovations begin at public safety building

The partially renovated lobby of the Cordova Public Safety Building. (June 14, 2021) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times

Renovation of the Cordova Public Safety Building began May 29. The building includes facilities for the Cordova Police Department, Cordova Volunteer Fire Department, the Alaska Wildlife Troopers and the Division of Motor Vehicles.

During the first day of work, which coincided with Cordova Cleanup Week, volunteers pressure-washed the building’s exterior and nearby sidewalk, removed rotted wooden covers on posts, and planted decorative foliage. Volunteers also repainted the building’s lobby and removed some signage. Cordova City Council member David Allison joined other volunteers, and donated a supply of potting soil to the project. Funding for project materials is being drawn from the police department budget, but most work by officers is being performed on a volunteer basis, Police Chief Nate Taylor said.

Taylor said the project is intended “just to make our building a little more appealing and a little less run-down-looking — to take a little bit of pride in it, to make it look nice.”

Planned further work includes the installation of a new area for filling out forms. A new holder for forms and a writing stand will be placed near the police department intercom, allowing visitors to more easily communicate with dispatchers while working on forms, Taylor said. New signage, which has yet to arrive, will include logos for the police department, fire department and wildlife troopers. All police department offices and hallways will also be repainted to display a more consistent color scheme, Taylor said.

“It’s got many color schemes inside right now,” Taylor said.

The facility’s perceived unwelcomingness was mentioned in a list of criticisms of the police department put before city council at a March 17 meeting. Taylor said he hopes that the ongoing project will help address public concerns that the building isn’t adequately welcoming.

Similar refurbishments are planned to take place at the nearby Cordova Post Office this summer.