The public will have to use a temporary entrance on the north side of the building until work is completed, which is expected to be late February. Signs mark the public entrance, which faces toward Milwaukee Avenue north of Touhy. Visitors will have to climb a set of off-white, rust-marked stairs and choose one of two entrance doors; one for daytime and one for overnight hours.
Members of the public may also enter the parking lot by either the Touhy Avenue or Milwaukee Avenue entrance. In the past, citizens were only to enter from Touhy Avenue; the Milwaukee Avenue entrance was reserved for police department personnel.
The long entrance ramp to the building,which was intended to be compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act, experienced many problems since the police station was built in 2004. It crumbled and rusted in places and in winter, it was difficult to maintain free of ice, Niles Police Chief Dean Strzelecki told the Niles village board in March. Critics also called it unsightly.
The ramp will be demolished, and the building will get a new facade with a staircase and elevator to take visitors to the second-story public area.