The City of Bloomington is buying a portion of the Showers Building to replace Bloomington police and fire department headquarters, according to a city news release.
The Showers Building, a historic building built in 1910, has three sections and is next to the City Hall. According to the article, the city and county own two parts for their offices and Cook Financial Corporation Properties owns the last section — 64,000 square feet at 320 W. Eighth St.
With the city council’s approval, the Bloomington Redevelopment Commission made an offer of $9.25 million to purchase the CFC section for the two departments. The city said they will decide the plans for the current facilities at a later time.
The city said that flooding last summer damaged both departments’ current headquarters and that the fire department had to relocate. The police department underwent a long-term cleaning, but is still open.
“City government always strives to meet the needs of residents through accessible and responsive city services,” Mayor John Hamilton said in the news release. “Modernizing public safety facilities under one roof and centralizing service locations can help us do that.”
Hamilton also said that completing the purchase would allow the city to preserve a building of historical value in Bloomington.
The news release said that the city offer had been accepted, but the sale was contingent on the funding.
Both sources said the city council allotted funds from the Economic Development Local Income Tax (ED-LIT) meant for public safety.
“Our department administration has been spread out all over the city for years and for the first time, we would be able to be in the same location working closer with other city departments," Bloomington Fire Department Chief Jason Moore said in the news release.
Bloomington Police Department Chief Mike Diekhoff said in the news release that the relocation was “a logical extension” of the city trying to prioritize Bloomington residents in their work.
"A new police headquarters will strengthen public safety in our community and help us retain and recruit new officers," he said in the news release.