Regional Operations Center could reopen soon

Health, safety issues being addressed

INDIANAPOLIS - An agreement is pending on negotiations that could make the city’s Regional Operations Center operational once again.

City officials hope to sign an agreement this week that would allow police and the city's Division of Homeland Security to move back into the facility by the end of March.

Public safety officials closed down the Regional Operations Center last fall. The East District headquarters of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and the city's Homeland Security offices were moved out of the center.

At the time, officials called the building a threat to the health and safety of city employees.

"One of the major issues was how the firewall was built in the basement. So that's what we're negotiating with the landlord to have them correct that issue," Valerie Washington, with the Department of Public Safety, said.

The city also had to deal with a fire-suppression system that did not work.

The multi-million dollar renovation of the old Eastgate shopping mall also included doors that didn't close, floors and ceilings that flooded, cracked tiles and inadequate ventilation that made people sick -- all because the city was in a hurry to make the center operational before the Super Bowl.

The Department of Code Enforcement issued a statement saying that it will review the new plans and implementation to ensure all aspects of the project are up to code.

"I think we found that just with the changes and getting ready for the Super Bowl, perhaps things were missed. I'm not sure of any other way to say that. I know that now there were issues that have been identified and we're working to correct them," Washington said.

For now, Homeland Security is operating out of the airport and IMPD's East District headquarters moved into crowded quarters at the IMPD Training Academy.

Until the landlord makes the requisite repairs, the city will continue to put rent payments in escrow.

The city’s lease agreement with the landlord provides for rent payments of $57,000 per month through the next 15 years.

The city will also have to pick up maintenance costs which could run another $17,000 per month.

Follow Jack Rinehart on Twitter: @jackrinehart6

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