University Police Department Plans Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Refurbished Building

UPD Ribbon Cutting (800x533)by Julia Puciato

SUNY Cobleskill’s University Police Department (UPD) will officially announce the expansion and refurbishment of the UPD station (Johnson Hall) with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on March 11 at 3:00 p.m. at the station  which is located at 137 West Main Street, Cobleskill.

The building was completely remodeled and a 1,405 square foot extension was added to the back. The new addition now houses the main office and reception area, offices for the Lieutenant and Chieftwo additional interview rooms (with a third added to the original space), male and female locker rooms, and a handicap accessible bathroom.  Renovations also upgraded the building to be handicap accessible with an exterior ramp that was donated to the school by a church.

Under the direction of Mike Murphy, Facilities Project Manager, and Alan Quinn, Facilities Program Coordination Specialist, the Facilities Management crew was able to complete the job between June and August of 2013, according to Chief of University Police and Director of Emergency Management Frank Lawrence.

“If our crew had not done the construction, this would not have been possible,” Lawrence said. He noted that the improvements and the extra room provided by the remodeling enables the UPD to provide more privacy and serve the community better. “It allows us to do our jobs as they should be done, and we can offer those who come into the building the confidentiality they deserve,” he added.

Lieutenant Dan Kowalski has been working at SUNY Cobleskill since 1988.  Over the past 25 years, he says, he was told that the building was going to be torn down and a new Administration building was going to be put up in its place.  But those plans never came about.

Kowalkski shared some of the difficulties the officers faced while working in the building:  there was damage to the building, the department had difficulty keeping computers because of power surges, there was no area for officers to clean up if they got dirty on the job, and it was not accessible to people with disabilities. The old facility also needed more space for evidence, gun and weapon storage.  To become accredited, the facility must be able to properly store evidence and specific kinds of papers. The addition to the building provides that extra space, he explained.

“The campus community and outside law enforcement will both benefit from the restoration,” said Kowalski. “We are predominantly one of the first places that people go to when they are looking for help. It is neat looking and professional. It has created a more professional image that provides for better working conditions, confidentiality and privacy.”

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