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The city of Lonsdale received proposals from 19 architects to design and construct a new police station, and four candidates will be interviewed June 18. Contractors will share their plans for the two outlined parcels, which the city is in the process of purchasing. In the future, the land not used for a police station may be used for added amenities. (courtesy of Rice County)

Nineteen construction firms submitted design proposals for a new police station in Lonsdale, and the city has narrowed down the candidates to four.

During its Thursday virtual meeting, the Lonsdale City Council approved a date and time to interview Wold, 292 DesignGroup, Oleson + Hobbie Architects and BKV. The meeting will be 6 p.m. June 18, in person. Community members may attend the meeting and social distance or access the meeting via online portal.

The city negotiated a purchase agreement earlier this year for two parcels at the 15th Avenue NE and Commerce Drive SE intersection. The planned police station will be a 6,000-square-foot building, and the design teams provided in their proposals a master plan for future additions, such as a city hall, library and spaces for public use.

Lack of space is a primary concern for the current police station, located at 115 Alabama Street SE. The seven officers and one administrative staff member utilize rooms that should be delegated to work tasks for storage, eating and changing into uniforms as a result of the tight quarters.

Ideally, the city would like to see the construction for the project begin later this fall.

Wold Architects previously worked with the city of Lonsdale on its city hall expansion project in 2018. The company’s experience also includes new police stations in Alexandria, Lakeville and Cottage Grove; a police station and city hall in New Hope; and police station and city hall renovations and expansions in Burnsville, Richfield and Sartell.

Oleson + Hobbie Architects of Mankato is currently working with the city of Lonsdale on the Trcka Park building and ice rink project. Team members’ previous experiences include the Sleepy Eye City Hall and Police Station as well as the Sleepy Eye Event Center and Mountain Lake City Hall and Police Station, among others.

While Lonsdale hasn’t previously worked with 292 DesignGroup on a project, the company did a community center study in 2016 for the city, which was put up for a referendum vote in Lonsdale. Based out of Minneapolis, the company’s experience includes Blaine City Hall, Medina Public Works and police facility, the Roseville Civic Center master plan and renovation, Bloomington Civic Plaza and the Elk River Public Works facility.

BKV Group of Minneapolis was selected as a candidate for its work on the Montgomery Police Station. City Administrator Joel Erickson said the team is “familiar with the area and has a good sense of budget and fiscal conservativeness of this area.” BKV previously constructed the Rochester police facility; the Fridley Civic Campus that includes a police station, fire station, city hall and public works; and the Detroit Lakes police station.

The City Council will interview these candidates during a special City Council meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 18. This meeting will mark the first the City Council holds in person since March 23, in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

With changes to executive orders, the council approved the decision to hold all meetings in person from this point forward.

In order to make social distancing more achievable, the council discussed the possibility of spacing chairs and tables further apart in the City Hall meeting room. Community members who wish to attend meetings virtually may continue to do so by accessing links to meetings. Contact City Hall at 507-744-2327 or visit lonsdale.govoffice.com for more information.

Reporter Misty Schwab can be reached at 507-333-3135. Follow her on Twitter @APGmisty. ©Copyright 2020 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

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