Charles Town police on the move

November 09, 1997


Staff Writer, Charles Town

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Flo Wilbik looks forward to having an office building with windows for the EastRidge Health Systems.

Charles Town Police Chief Mike Aldridge wants a secure building without windows and fewer doors.

This week, Charles Town Police will start packing up to move in to a temporary location on the second floor of the Charles Washington Hall, above Shue Chen Restaurant.

Workers will then renovate the old police station. The work is expected to take three to five months.

Once it is renovated, EastRidge Health Systems will move into the old police station and the police department will move into the EastRidge Health Systems building on the corner of Charles and Washington streets.


The game of office musical chairs will still not be over.

Charles Town Manager Jane Arnett said that once the police department moves out of the second floor of Charles Washington Hall, town offices will move into the vacated space.

Work will then start on the town council chambers and the town offices.

The renovation of town hall will cost abou $400,000, Arnett said.

The town council debated whether new carpeting should be installed at the Charles Washington Hall or if the existing 1960s-era carpeting should be cleaned before the temporary move.

Town officials said that cleaning the rug may not remove all of the dust and mildew.

They said the place would need new carpeting any way. After town offices are moved back to the renovated Town Hall, the Charles Washington Hall offices will be leased.

Some officials said the town should wait before installing new carpeting at the temporary site because town employees would put wear and tear on it.

Eventually the council agreed to spend about $2,000 on the new carpeting before the police department moves in.

Council member Nina B. Vogel said giving the employees new carpeting shows the town thinks they're important.

Arnett and Wilbik, the Jefferson County coordinator for EastRidge Health Systems, said the move is a "win-win" for both EastRidge and the police.

Aldridge said his department needed more office space than is available at the current location.

The EastRidge site also offers a more secure facility, because while it has large plate glass windows in the front, the rest of the building is brick walls.

The police station has numerous, high windows and a consultant study last year of the police department had recommended the department needed more security, Aldridge said.

Wilbik said having windows and the high ceilings that the current police station have will be a great improvement.

"Both clients and staff feel happier and healthier when they're exposed to daylight," Wilbik said.

EastRidge provides a wide range of mental health counseling programs, from psychiatric treatment to substance abuse prevention, Wilbik said.

The staff will work with the clients to make sure they are familiar with the new site long before EastRidge moves, Wilbik said.

Clients who have trouble with confusion will be taken to the new site several times so they can find it easily, Wilbik said.

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