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Engineering Department In New Location
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There's a little something missing on Coley Avenue in Escalon ... the portable trailer that served as 'home' for the city's engineering department for many years was recently hauled off - 'out with the old and in with the new' - and staff members are settling in to their new location right next door.

The 'new' location is the old police department facility, which was renovated primarily through in-house work done by Escalon's Public Works personnel over the past few months. While the building and planning arm of the city's Community Development Department had been housed at that location already, the renovation of the old police department portion of the building at 1855 Coley has now allowed the engineering department to move in as well.

"We're happy to be over there," said City Engineer John Abrew. "There is new paint, carpets, to us it looks like a brand new building."

Along with the Planning and Building departments, Transit and Engineering are now in the facility, so all the departments are in the same area, all under one roof.

Abrew said when the police department moved in to its new headquarters on McHenry Avenue last year, the idea was to consolidate several departments into the old PD site. There is still some work to do in the way of arranging offices and putting the final touches on, but all departments are operational and enjoying the new location.

Especially engineering, which was housed in the dilapidated trailer for many years.

"Our public works guys did a great job," Abrew said of renovating the old police department. "We're very proud of it. It's very functional and clean."

Now offered under the 'Community Development' services, those needing to make contact with one of the departments can stop in and check first with Planning Technician Carol Norris, who will then direct them to the proper person.

The offices are currently closed for the holiday break, through Friday, Dec. 31, reopening for business on Monday, Jan. 3.

Dave Ruby of the city's engineering department said it is a pleasure to be in the new facility, but some remnants of the old also made the migration, including the famed bowling bowl that was a constant presence in the old trailer office.

"It was used as a doorstop," Ruby explained. "We found it one day when we were out surveying for a project."

The ball, inscribed with the name 'Kerry' and 'Modesto Bowl,' found new life as a doorstop at the trailer and has now moved to the new location. It won't be needed as a doorstop there, but Ruby said officials didn't want to part with it just yet, considering it a little "piece of Escalon history."