Mayor cites Police Academy as example of crumbling infrastructure
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -
It's the training ground for Lubbock's finest, but their Police Academy has definitely seen better days.
Monday, crews began a long-overdue asbestos abatement at the facility. The process is scheduled to take a maximum of 120 days. However, step inside the doors of the academy and you'll see asbestos is only part of a much bigger problem.
Take a look around and you'll see water-stained carpet that's coming up in some areas and ceiling tiles held up only by duct tape.
"Aesthetically pleasing, some of it is not. It's still functional, we can still walk on it, but we're going to get to the point where the carpet bubbles up too big and we're going to trip on it," Academy Lieutenant, John Hayes said.
Some of the carpet in the facility has been replaced, but if it looks familiar, that's because it was taken right out of the Lubbock Preston-Smith International Airport. Mayor Glen Robertson says that's completely unacceptable.
"We always hear about governmental waste; we've gone to the other end of the spectrum to where we are costing the taxpayers money, to holding off on this so long that we have to replace rather than repair," Robertson said.
Under the carpet, you'll find the asbestos problem that's gone untreated for years. The danger lies in the glue that was used to attach the floor tiles. The building was used by Reese Air Force Base in the 1970s.
"Building codes in the '70s were far different than they are today. Today they're much more restrictive - the types of materials you can use," Hayes said.
Lubbock City Council approved the asbestos abatement that began Monday, but Robertson says that's just the tip of the iceberg that's growing across the city.
"Our infrastructure is crumbling. We've gone through a ten-year period where we have ignored a lot of routine maintenance," Robertson said.
The mayor says a complete overhaul of many city facilities could cost tens of millions of dollars.