This article was originally published by the Wichita Business Journal newspaper on March 30, 2018

Could library building become future WPD bureau?

By Bryan Horwath

Downtown developer Jason Van Sickle thinks he has a good fit for the soon-to-be former library building at 223 S. Main St.

Speaking at a meeting of the minds Wednesday for his newly-formed Downtown Neighborhood Association, Van Sickle said he'd like to see the building turned into a new Wichita Police Department bureau.

The downtown library headquarters, of course, is moving into a new building a few blocks to the west.

"We have a library building that's about to become vacant," Van Sickle said. "That would make an awesome police headquarters for downtown. It has plenty of parking and plenty of room."

Van Sickle, while also praising Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay for the job he's done since being named to the position in late 2015, has openly advocated for a more robust neighborhood watch program downtown that would work in conjunction with other policing efforts.

I asked Wichita City Manager Robert Layton about the possibilities for the library building.

"The future of the library will not be determined until the (Century II) deliberations are completed," Layton told the WBJ in an email on Friday. "It is possible that the building will be reused to support the City’s convention needs. That option is under serious consideration but a formal recommendation has not yet been developed."

So, there you have it. We'll have to wait and see what becomes of the library building, though it certainly is fun to speculate.