By Jan TenBruggencate
Advertiser Kaua'i Bureau
LIHUE, Kauai The police department has worked in cramped, outmoded, underequipped facilities for decades.
Kauais prosecutors have been in temporary buildings for nearly 20 years. And county civil defense is administered from the basement of the 1913-built County Building.
That should all be over by the summer of next year.
"We have worked so very hard to get the police department out of those deplorable conditions that they have worked in all these years," said Mayor Maryanne Kusaka. "We want to give them a well-equipped, functional, state-of-the-art facility."
Kauai officials broke ground last week for a 67,000-square-foot building on 8.5 acres to combine police, prosecutors and civil defense offices.
The $16.1 million project is the largest single construction effort the county has ever undertaken. It will be financed primarily through a county bond issue.
A team of Kauai County executives and volunteers from the community have overseen the preparatory work. The project is a design-and-build effort led by Shioi Construction and Architects Hawaii.
It will have civil defense headquarters hardened against hurricanes, extensive modern police facilities, a popular Hawaiian architectural style with double-pitch roofs and wide overhangs, a covered breezeway, ample parking, and green space.
The acreage is former Amfac/JMB cane land off Kapule Highway. It will be situated behind a state Judiciary complex that is now under design, and should be started in 2002.
The county has been looking for a new police facility for more than a decade.
Kusaka said she was committed to completing the facility before the end of her final term in office, which ends in late 2002.
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