The Kodiak City Council Thursday night put the final nail in the coffin of the old police station downtown when it approved a contract of nearly $350,000 to Golden Alaska Excavating to tear down the nearly 60-year-old building.
“It’s very derelict. We’ve spent money to insure it and keep it heated and we’ve had, you know, frozen pipes. It just needs to go away.”
That’s City Manager Aimee Kniaziowski explaining to the council why the funds should be approved.
The building, built in the 1950s, became surplus once the new police station and jail were built further up Mill Bay Road a few years ago.
But it also played an important role in the formative years of Kodiak’s Police Chief, T.C. Kamai.
“In some ways I kinda grew up in that building. I spent over 20 years working in that place. I remember the first day I reported, one of the things I was told was ‘Hey, we’re getting a new police station next year.’ And 21 years later it finally happened.” You know, I’ve got some good memories of the place. I think there’s a lot of history in the building. Glad to be out of it, but there’s a part of me that’s going to be a little bit sad when they start taking it down.”
He’s not so sad though that it would prevent him from assisting in the demolition if he gets the chance.
“I happen to know one of the fellas who’s on the crew there and he called me up and kinda jokingly suggested, ‘Hey, I’ll let you sit in my excavator and take the first swipe if you want,’ and I said, ‘You know I might have to think about that.’”
Kamai said he’s not sure of the timeframe for demolishing the old police station, but said he might make one more visit before it comes down.
“I actually had a conversation with Lt. Ray Ellis about we should take another walk through the building to make sure we’ve gotten everything out of that that we need to have out of there before these guys start taking it down. I’m sure some artifacts of some sort will show up. Because, as I said there’s been a lot of people in and out of that building over the years. And we think we got everything out of there we needed to, but you never know what your going to find when you start taking down walls.”
The roughly $350,000 the city council approved also includes funds to tear down a derelict and abandoned house on Mission Road.