PRINEVILLE, Ore. - The Prineville Police Department is getting a major overhaul, so that it can better withstand earthquakes.
"This building houses not only my police department, but the dispatch center for Crook County and the jail," Prineville Chief of Police Dale Cummins said Tuesday. "So it's a very important building -- that it stays up and functional in a seismic event."
The state of Oregon agreed and recently approved a $1.2 million grant to renovate the building to make sure it can withstand a major Cascadia subduction zone earthquake off the Northwest coast. It's one of dozens of state seismic rehabilitation grants recently made to schools and emergency buildings, totaling $153 million.
Engineers who checked the building said it had a high probability of failure in the case of such an event. That's because the structure, which was built in 1956, wasn't designed with current codes in mind -- much of the exterior of the building is made of glass, which is all going to be knocked down and replaced with brick.
Same goes for the emergency operations center.
"Everybody uses it," Cummins said. "The sheriff, the emergency management teams, the mayor -- everybody would come here to run an event. Right now, with the way this building is constructed, there's a very good chance if the event was an earthquake, we would not have the building to be able to use it."
The ceiling, which is still the original one from the '50s, also will be replaced.
The department is waiting for what's called a notice to proceed, and is expecting construction to last a couple years once it starts.