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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Liberty Lake: library, police getting new space

Building that will hold both offers greater square footage

Liberty Lake Mayor Wendy Van Orman, Liberty Lake Police Chief Police Brian Asmus and Liberty Lake Library Director Pamela Mogen stand in lobby of the  old Northern Technologies Building  Liberty Lake.  (J. BART RAYNIAK / The Spokesman-Review)

Liberty Lake Library Director Pamela Mogen can point to where new walls will be built and existing walls will be cut open in her part of the city’s newest building on Mission Avenue.

Police Chief Brian Asmus has a much shorter list of needed renovations, but the pink carpet is definitely out.

“We’re going to add a few doors for security purposes and get rid of the pink carpet,” he said.

The sale to the city of Liberty Lake of the building at 23123 E. Mission Ave. closed this week for $1.9 million and Mogen and Asmus gave a tour Friday to show off their new digs.

The east side of the building will house the Police Department with its own entrance. It needs little in the way of remodeling and Asmus said he already found a good deal on office furniture for his nine-person department. The new police station will encompass about 18,000 square feet, a huge improvement over the 1,500 square feet the department now occupies in City Hall, where nearly everyone has their own desk, but there is little room for evidence or records storage and no secured areas.

The new station will include two interview rooms wired for video and sound recording. “That’s something we don’t have,” Asmus said. “We’ve been borrowing other people’s offices.”

There also will be a community meeting room, an office for SCOPE volunteers, a roll call/briefing room, a classroom, equipment storage for bikes and shields and a workout room that will be filled with officers’ own exercise equipment from home. The department will also get an interior vehicle bay, which already exists on the north side of the building, and space for a breathalyzer machine.

The department currently doesn’t have a machine because there is no secure space for it. “We have to either go to the Valley Precinct or downtown,” Asmus said.

Several rooms will remain empty for future expansion, but one feature – the large, walk-in safe off the vehicle bay – will be used for evidence storage.

Part of the existing vehicle bay, which encompasses hundreds of square feet, will be walled off and remodeled to become part of the library. Currently it’s just a concrete floor with air hoses and electrical cords hanging from the soaring ceiling. “This can be beautified and it will be,” said Mayor Wendy Van Orman.

There are no plans to divide the area up after it is enclosed, said Mogen. “There are no walls here,” she said, pointing to her proposed floor plan. “It just flows. We have no seating where we are now. We’ll have room for tables and chairs.”

The library will be enclosed in more than 8,000 square feet, triple the amount of space it currently fills. The library entrance will be on the west side of the building, complete with planter boxes full of flowers and a glass wall to let in natural light. Doors that currently connect the two sides of the building will be sealed off, eliminating any way for someone in the library to access the police station.

The library will boast new amenities that include a public meeting room, storage space, a story theater area, a staff room and offices for employees. Also new are a planned study room and a quiet reading room. Mogen plans to organize the children’s area with books in bins rather than on shelves so kids can see the covers of books. “We want to make it kid-friendly,” she said.

The renovation will likely go out to bid within the next month and construction is expected to be complete in January.

Nina Culver can be reached at 927-2158 or via e-mail at