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Facelift In Progress At Coley Avenue Facility
A fresh coat of paint, some new carpeting and a few other internal changes are combining to give the former Escalon police department facility on Coley Avenue a bit of a makeover. The building housed both the police and planning/building departments for several years and while the police moved in to the new Civic Center on McHenry Avenue last December, the planning/building department - also known as the Community Development Department - stayed put. Their small office will stay in the 1855 Coley location and will soon be joined by the engineering department, which will move from a trailer next door to that location.

"John Abrew (city engineer and public works) and the engineering department will move in, the main thing is to get rid of that trailer they have been in for so long," explained interim City Manager Henry Hesling. "After a while it just doesn't become practical to conduct business there."

The trailer has been used for years but officials are looking forward to having the engineering department move out of the aging, dilapidated facility so they can remove the trailer. The renovation work on the adjacent city building is being overseen by Abrew and being done on an 'as possible' basis by city employees.

"It's actually an in house project," explained Hesling. "It's just touch up painting, a little carpeting, making sure all the light switches work."

Progress has been somewhat slow because the work is being done as city crews have a chance to spend a little time there, but it is steadily coming together, officials said.

Interior renovations have included the removal of a large window that was used by police officials when dealing with the public, while the aged wallpaper that had been there for the past few decades came down and the walls were painted. Damaged ceiling tiles were also replaced and some texturing was added to the walls.

"It has gone pretty good," Public Works employee Jake Cook said of the overall project. "We're just doing it as we can."

Since it's being done in house, there are no major fund outlays, making it a fiscally responsible project.

Abrew said it's probably the first real work the building has had done for roughly 35 years.

"You add some paint and put new carpet on the floors, that can go a long way," he said of freshening up the location. "Nothing major, but it makes it look clean."