If one were to think of a game of musical chairs, but then apply it to offices, that might provide a glimpse into what’s been going on lately in the building that has housed Glasgow’s fire department and the local emergency dispatch center for the past several months.
Within two or three months after Glasgow Police Department moved out of the building at East Washington and South Broadway streets and into another building, the remaining two departments that shared what some had called the public safety building began spreading their wings a bit.
On Monday evening, they hosted an open house to display the transformation that had occurred.
What had been the police chief’s office is now the office of Beverly Harbison, director of the Barren-Metcalfe County Emergency Communications Center, but now it has an additional door that is accessed directly from the East Washington Street entrance of the building. Before, it could only be accessed through an adjoining conference room. The conference room is still there, though, and the fire department and dispatch center will share it.
The room that had been occupied by a police lieutenant colonel is now the office of Joann Eaton, assistant director of the dispatch center. Two other smaller rooms that had been police offices are being used for storage and an extra temporary office.
Harbison and Eaton used to share an office just off the dispatch room that has now been opened up for use as an extra work area.
What had most recently been the reception area for the police department – the room behind the glass window where a resident would go to pick up a copy of an accident report, for example – is now the fire chief’s office. And an entire wall was removed and an existing doorway revealed to connect the fire department offices to the Broadway main entrance. The fire department secretary moved there, the assistant chief moved to the chief’s former office and the battalion chief moved to what had been the secretary’s office. The room that used to be shared by the assistant and battalion chiefs is now used for filing storage.
All of the interior labor, except for the installation of new windows, was done by fire department and communications personnel; jail inmates did painting and other work on the front exterior.
GFD Chief Tony Atwood said he spent $8,376.34, of which $4,153.36 was for the windows. Barring anything catastrophic, he said, his maintenance budget for this fiscal year should be able to absorb it.
“It was a huge undertaking – that the guys basically volunteered to do,” he said.
Harbison said $4,500 had been provided by the Barren-Metcalfe Emergency Communications Center Governing Board for the dispatch portion of the remodeling, except for the windows, which were covered by the city.
Atwood pointed out to some of those who dropped by for the open house that the offices had a personal feel to them.
“Everybody picked out their own colors and how they wanted the rooms laid out,” he said. “It’s not cookie cutter.”
Tammy Duff, wife of GPD Lt. Col. James Duff, whose former office is where Eaton is now, said she had heard great things about what all was being done, so she wanted to see for herself.
“It’s gorgeous,” she said.
Her husband, who came along a few minutes later, said it didn’t even resemble the same place.
Mike McFarlin, a former police detective, brought his son and daughter along to see the changes.
“It’s different. It looks good.. They’ve done well with it,” McFarlin said. “It’s nice the way they’ve been able to utilize the building since the police department moved out.”
John Eudy, who had retired from GFD in 2008 as assistant chief after working there 30 years, said it didn’t surprise him in the least that fire department guys were able to do most of the work themselves because they always had been multitalented that way.
“I think it’s awesome,” he said. “They needed it for years.”
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