By the end of the month, Long Beach Police Department’s (LBPD) east patrol division will be fully relocated to a new substation, a former United States Army Reserve Center once called Schroeder Hall at Willow Street and Grand Avenue, police officials said.
“We’re excited about it,” said East Patrol Division Commander Liz Griffin, who has been with the LBPD for nearly 23 years. “It’s new. It’s expanded. It’s bigger. It’s more workspace for the officers and more parking for the black-and-whites.”
Formerly known as Schroeder Hall, a two-story brick building located at Willow Street and Grand Avenue will be the new home of the Long Beach Police Department’s East Patrol Division, which is relocating from its substation on Los Coyotes Boulevard near the Traffic Circle. The division is moving into the building, once used as a United States Army Reserve Center, by the end of the month. (Photograph by the Business Journal’s Larry Duncan)
The two-story, 24,500 square-foot brick building has been renovated to “meet the 21st Century needs of the police department,” said Seyron Foo, spokesperson for the Long Beach Public Works Department, who added that the city chose to preserve the history of the 56-year-old building through adaptive reuse.
The new substation, which will also house a juvenile investigations and booking facility, is expected to include office space, renovated locker areas, showers, restrooms, gym facilities, an elevator, public waiting and reception areas and a multi-purpose community room, according to city officials.
The East Patrol Division’s current substation, which the city leases on Los Coyotes Boulevard near the Traffic Circle, has been considered by the LBPD to be “undersized and outdated,” with no room for expansion or upgrades.
“The facility we’re in right now was never really intended to be a police station,” Griffin said. “We were always looking for a facility that can house a police station to be comfortable and provide some kind of expansion and upgrades that would meet our needs, which is 21st Century-type policing.”
Foo said the city contracted with Rialto-based RC Construction Services, Inc. for the $6.12-million renovation to the former Schroeder Hall building.
The 4.7-acre site was given to the city after it was declared surplus property in 2005 under the federal Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process, which was designed to increase U.S. military efficiency by reorganizing bases.
The U.S. Department of Justice along with the U.S. Housing and Urban Development approved a no-cost public benefit conveyance of the facility in 2010, providing a savings to the city of more than $3.5 million, according to city officials.
This contract, however, was held up for years because of controversy over a requirement that the former U.S. Army facility be provided with the stipulation that the city arrange a site to accommodate homeless individuals.
Residents fought a proposal that once sought to locate a mentally ill homeless treatment facility on a one-acre site close to the Schroeder Hall facility and near the Long Beach Health and Human Services Departments off Willow Street.
In 2013, however, the city struck a deal to help Mental Health America (MHA) acquire a site on Long Beach Boulevard and adjacent to a Los Angeles County mental health facility to provide a healthcare access program to deliver services to homeless people.
A year later, Long Beach city officials accepted the deed for Schroeder Hall from the U.S. Army Reserve.