PREVIOUSLY REPORTED Clayton Town Council approved a $101,000 project in November to make changes to town hall and the police department.

The project included three facets – a town hall renovation, a police station expansion, and a bathroom in the police station.

“It’s for safety reasons, especially the town employees,” Mayor Tom Horn said at the time. “This is something we’ve got to do.”

The Clayton Building Committee had proposed the project earlier in the year. At the time, committee members wanted the police station expansion mainly so the department would have its own entranceway. Since the department didn’t have its own entrance, police officers had to bring suspects into the police station from the lobby of town hall.

“We need a more secure building, one where prisoners aren’t coming in town hall to be interviewed or to use the bathroom,” said Alex Dias, committee chair in an Aug. 27, 2013 meeting.

It was while discussing the police department expansion that committee members proposed renovating town hall as well to give employees more space.

WHAT’S NEW The expanded Clayton Police Department has been in use for a few weeks, while town hall is currently under construction.

The renovation of town hall is expected to be completed in September. The third aspect of the project to put a bathroom in the police station should also be done in September.

Town hall is up and running throughout the renovation; however, residents are asked to go to the council chambers entrance rather than the town hall front door.

Mayor Tom Horn said the expanded police station is nice and the biggest part of the project is the fact suspects won’t be exposed by having to walk through town hall.

“It’s been a pretty smooth transition,” Clayton Police Chief Brian Hill said. “We’ve already used the interview room a few times. It’s nice to have a private area for the victims or suspects.”

Building Committee Chair Alex Dias said the expansion is a big improvement and something that should’ve been done a long time ago.

“It’s so much easier to not take the prisoner out front. Now what we do is more confidential,” Dias said.

Hill added that the changes not only make the police station more secure but town hall as well. Before the expansion, officers used council chambers to conduct interviews.

The Clayton Building Committee will have a meeting Wednesday, Aug. 20 to discuss the project, where the town is at budget-wise, and when the project will be done.