Need for space: Holmen Police could get new, $2.7M station - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Need for space: Holmen Police could get new, $2.7M station

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Architect's design for new Holmen Police Department Architect's design for new Holmen Police Department

UPDATE: HOLMEN, Wisconsin (WXOW) – The Holmen Village Board unanimously approved the architect to proceed to final design and put the project out for bid Thursday night. 

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In the mid-1970s, the Holmen Police Department began with just four officers. Now they have 10 officers, one on the way, two staff members, and—after 35 years in the same building—a need for space.

"It's bursting at the seams," said police Chief Mike McHugh.

Winter coats on chairs, desks, piled with reports and equipment, and exposed wires are all things you'll see at the Holmen Police Department.

"You see it's very cluttered," McHugh said, gesturing around the room. "They have no other place to put it. There's no locker space available, there's no garage space."

McHugh knows there's a problem when all of his officers are sharing desks and staff has to run to the basement to get a police record.

"From 1978 (until) about 15 years ago, this was the entire police department back here," McHugh said, standing in a single room that once was an office for nine and a reception area.

"This is the first effort since really the early 80's to provide new space for a very, very growing department," said Holmen Village Administrator Scott Heinig.

Heinig said the village population has increased five-fold since the police department first formed.

So this year, the village board has approved a $2.7 million new police station. Plans are in the works.

"This is a 10,000 square foot building with a 2,000 square foot garage," Heinig said of the project plans.

The current police station is the size of that proposed garage.

"We've grown so quickly over the years that we've run out of space," McHugh said.

Another issue with the current space is the department has state-of-the-art vehicles but there's only enough garage space to fit two.

In winter, officers need to constantly run the cars outside and rotate which ones sit in the garage to make sure the equipment doesn't freeze up, according to McHugh.

Having the cars sitting outside makes them vulnerable to vandalism, he added.

At the Village of Holmen monthly meeting Thursday night, the building's architect will present the plans and the board will potentially approve the new designs.

The new police station would be built on village-owned land between Legion and Wall Streets.

The board is hoping to break ground by August.

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