DPS Central Station rehab

blue@samoanews.com

The Department of Public Safety's main central station in Fagatogo will be getting a new look soon, as the entire second floor is being gutted to make way for a new, more modern facility, although efforts will be made to preserve the historic character and properties of the structure.

The historic building, according to the head of the American Samoa Historic Preservation Office, David Herdrich, used to feature a balcony on the front side of the entire second floor.

And because restoration work is being funded in part with federal dollars, guidelines set forth in Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 outlines the process that federal agencies have to follow when historic buildings and federal funds are involved.

According to Herdrich, this includes taking into account the historic properties and character of the structure during restoration work.

The second floor of the DPS building was damaged by fire late last year. The building was abandoned immediately — for health and safety reasons — and DPS operations have been temporarily relocated to the nearby Lumana'i Building, with some cops now being based at the DPS Tafuna Substation.

Herdrich said the only part of the building that is being restored is the second floor, and after searching through the archives, they were able to locate the original blueprint of the structure. A copy of the blueprint has been given to the Department of Public Works, whose crew is being tasked with the project, and it is hopeful that they will incorporate the historic features of the building when restoration work begins, said Herdrich.

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