By putting pen to paper on Friday, Mar 18, 2022, City of Delta officials take a giant step forward to simultaneously relocate the Delta Police Department into space that meets their growing needs and revitalize a building that has been vacant for many years in the heart of Delta. The City is overjoyed to announce its purchase of “the Old Armory Building,” a Delta fixture located at 359 Grand Avenue just east of the Delta Post Office, at the intersection of 4th Street and Grand Avenue. Once redeveloped, “the Old Armory” will serve as “the New Delta Police Department.” Police Chief Fedler states, “I’m very excited for this opportunity. The Delta Police Department is in desperate need of more room to accommodate the growth of the department and to properly comply with many new state and federal mandates such as evidence retention and record keeping. It also allows us to rehabilitate and repurpose an important icon of the City of Delta.”
Delta PD has been located at 215 W 5th Street since the 1980s. Since then, the PD has expanded and thus outgrown the about 6,000 SF space. The building is currently headquarters to 23 (when fully staffed) officers, 6 administrative staff, and K-9 Officer Raco, who is a very good boy. The protective gear worn by officers is bulky, administrative staff require space to function, state and federal statutes require that the PD keep evidence for many years, sometimes forever. The desk of one employee is quite literally located in an old broom closet. With all these moving parts and people, the PD has simply run out of space before we even factor in the public visiting the facility daily.
Recognizing the problem, in 2019 and 2020 the PD and City began exploring options during discussion concerning the Back the Badge Safety tax. In 2021 the City completed a study to identify locations in Delta that were the best fit for constructing a new PD building. Options were identified, plans were sketched, and cost estimates were created. The price tag for constructing a new building to the secure specifications required of a facility such as a police department was enormously over budget and out of reach for Delta.
So the City went back to the drawing board. During planning sessions someone brought up the idea of using the old armory building two blocks back from Main Street and City Hall. The idea merited consideration. The City completed a survey of the historic structure on Grand Ave and found the building to be structurally sound despite its years spent idle. Many of the security measures such as 18 inch thick walls were already in place. After further evaluation and the creation of a rough cost estimate the City found this to be a more cost efficient solution for the relocation of Delta PD.
This solution has the added benefit of revitalizing a build that has been dormant for a large portion of living memory. Built in 1922, the Armory building opened as one of 4 National Guard Armories in Western Colorado. The armory is a very important piece of Delta’s history. It has been repurposed over the years and has been everything from a carpet store to a private residence. Though long since vacant, once upon a time the building was used by the community for dances, an indoor shooting range, theater, and for banquets.
On March 15, 2022 the Delta City Council voted unanimously to authorize the purchase of “the Old Armory” building which was met with applause from the crowd in attendance. Please note that Councilman Mark Broome recused himself from the vote as he has done on all previous discussions concerning this project. The purchase was finalized on Mar 18, 2022 as City Officials executed the final closing documents.
“The City of Delta is thrilled to close on the purchase of the Old Armory building,” said Elyse Ackerman-Casselberry, Delta City Manager. “This project will create a space that meets the needs of our dedicated officers and bring purpose back to a vacant building. We are excited about this project!”
We are still a long way from the finish line, but we have started the marathon. Within the next few months, the City will begin advertising RFPs for the design and engineering necessary for redevelopment. Also, the Delta Police Department will be conducting public tours of the building soon and before major renovations occur. Please stay tuned for more information about the building, remodeling and events related to it!