Driving along Joppa Road on the east side of Towson, it's hard not to notice the building that looks something like a huge box with mirrors for sides. To someone old enough to remember a certain type of point-and-shoot camera, the county's police headquarters might resemble an overgrown flash cube.
The look comes from the building's 2,200 windows - and, as the County Council was reminded yesterday, glass sometimes breaks. But how much is too much to fix it? The council is being asked to approve up to $1.6 million to repair the exterior glass panels on an as-needed basis over the next five years.
About 25 of the windows require repair each year because of damage caused as the building settles or for other reasons, the council was told. The panels cost $4,500 apiece, or $4,750 for a corner window, but there are other costs, such as gaskets and sealant to stop leaks.
If the county paid the maximum under the proposed contract of $332,000 a year to College Park Glass Co., it would be paying on average nearly $15,000 a window, Chairman Stephen G. Samuel Moxley said at the council work session yesterday. That prompted Moxley and several other council members to ask Bill Korpman, deputy director of the county's Department of Public Works, for a better accounting.
"We need to know what the cost per window really is," Moxley said.
Councilman Kevin Kamenetz, a Pikesville-Ruxton Democrat, also seemed alarmed by the expense. He asked how much the entire building is worth.
Korpman told the council members that he would provide a per-window cost analysis in time for the council's scheduled vote at its meeting Monday.