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Site cleared for police station

Echo Press photo by Al Edenloff A wrecking ball slammed into the old sewer plant along 3rd Avenue West Wednesday. The round building, which was abandoned decades ago, was demolished to make room for a new police station.

As the wrecking ball slammed into it again and again, you could feel the ground rumble from several feet away.

Alexandria's old sewer plant along 3rd Avenue West was demolished Wednesday.

It wasn't easy work. The circular building's thick concrete walls and rebar didn't give in without a fight but they finally came tumbling down.

The old park department building will also be torn down soon.

It's all to make room for a new Alexandria police station that will be built on the site, which is located near the new Douglas County Jail.

At its meeting Monday night, the Alexandria City Council accepted a bid of $316,139 from Mark Lee Excavating of Alexandria to complete the "phase one" site development work.

The existing police station, which the city is leasing inside the Law Enforcement Center on 7th Avenue East, is inadequate to serve the police department's current and future needs, according to city leaders.

The 24,000-square-foot facility, estimated to cost about $5.1 million, will house administration, records, offices for patrol officers and detectives, a community meeting room that could also be used for training, and other space for investigations, evidence processing and other police operations.

The old sewer plant, built in the early 1940s, was shut down when the Alexandria Lakes Area Sanitary District began operations in the early 1970s, according to sources with Alexandria Light and Power (ALP).

The plant, overloaded with demand from the city's growing population, was in pretty bad shape when it was abandoned, according to Dave Nelson, former ALP general manager.

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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