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‘Wall-breaking’ signifies new beginning for Chubbuck Police Department

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CHUBBUCK — The Chubbuck Police Station will soon get a long-needed upgrade.

“If you haven’t been aware, they’ve lived in a cubbyhole next door here,” Chubbuck Mayor Kevin England said of the city’s police while standing in the now vacant former city hall Thursday. “I remember one day I was over there and two fully equipped officers were walking down the hall. They couldn’t pass each other, one of them had to step in one of the rooms for the other to go by.”

With the new city hall completed, development can now begin at the site of what was formerly the city hall. The police station, which has occupied a wing of the old city hall, will soon take over the entire building — nearly tripling in size, from around 6,000 square feet to almost 18,000.

But the upgrade goes so much further, Chubbuck police chief Bill Guiberson explained.

“It’s going to be good from a square-footage standpoint,” Guiberson told EastIdahoNews.com. “But we’re going to have some technology upgrades; it’ll be a good building that is going to have a lot of natural lighting, a fitness center, a dedicated training room — things like that that the officers can be proud of.”

But before any of that can be developed and installed, much of the current interior structure must be demolished. The demolition process began Thursday, with a ceremonial wall-breaking. Several city dignitaries, including Guiberson and England, smashed hammers, battering rams and other tools through one of those interior walls, as officers and an emergency medical team looked on.

dignitaries, including chief Bill Guiberson at the Chubbuck PD wall-breaking
Officials representing the city of Chubbuck and Chubbuck PD take part in a wall-breaking, Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021. | Kalama Hines, EastIdahoNews.com

The new police station has been designed by Lombard Conrad Architects, a Boise-based architecture firm, and developed by CM Company, Inc., the same Chubbuck-based construction management company responsible for the development of the new city hall.

Related | Shops, food trucks, a walkable downtown and a new City Hall. How Chubbuck will change this summer.

The new police station was designed with more than just current needs in mind, Lombard Conrad spokesman Ben Bernier told EastIdahoNews.com.

“It is (more fitting for the department’s current needs),” he said. “And we also designed it for 20-year growth, for the department — so there’s extra room for them to grow.”

Like the new city hall, plans were based on a needs assessment, which took future growth of the city population and its needs into account. Meaning, as the department continues to grow, there will be no need to add on to the building. The last time an addition to the station was made was 20 ears when it was expanded into a parking lot.

The plans for the development have long been approved. Now, what CM Company Regional Manager and Pocatello native Garrett Goldade called “phase two” will begin.

“This has been a great experience, working with the city folks has been an absolute pleasure,” Goldade said. “We’re just excited to get this next phase going for them.”

Phase two will also include the development of an animal control center. Ground will be broken on that building, in the same lot as the police station, in the coming weeks. Both are expected to be completed early in the spring of 2022, Goldade told EastIdahoNews.com.

With his department mere months from a home big enough to house it, Guiberson is equal parts excited and proud. Proud that the city is looking to better itself, and proud that the community supports that interest.

“I think the community will be proud of it too, and take some pride in their police station.”

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