The Edmond Sun

Local News

December 23, 2013

Public Safety Center combines departments

EDMOND — Officials lauded the start of the Public Safety Center in 2013 with the August groundbreaking marking the occasion.

At last, the city’s long-awaited event brought police officers and city leaders together with a crowd of about 200 people. The Public Safety Center will combine the Edmond Police Department with Central Communications and Emergency Management.

The  70,000-square-foot Edmond Public Safety Center is being constructed on a 1-acre site at 100 E. First St. that formerly housed the City of Edmond Administration Building.

“It took us many years of committee work, numerous public meetings and two elections to find the right equation of function, location and a funding source that the Edmond citizens would support,” said Charles Lamb, mayor.

Laboratory, vehicles, evidence-based storage and other related functions will be located at an auxiliary building at 315 W. 33rd St. Bid documents allow the contractor a two-year period for construction of the downtown facility.

Edmond voters approved a half-cent sales tax in 2010 to build the facility. Voters also approved Proposition No. 2 to allow the city to loan itself $7.2 million out of the Hospital Trust Fund with an improved return of investment on that trust fund. Timberlake Construction will build the downtown facility for a cost of $27.478 million.

“It’s being built for the 20-year needs of the Police Department,” said Police Chief Bob Ricks. “But in actuality, this will be the administrative headquarters of the Edmond Police Department for at least the next 50 years.”

Planning for the facility took five years, said principal architect Phillip McNayr of Frankfurt Short Bruza. The wait has been and will be well worth it for the 24-month construction project, McNayr said.

Forty members of city staff were relocated from the city administration building to the Hargrove Building, 7 N. Broadway. The current rent for the Hargrove Building is $19,500 a month, said Casey Moore, city spokesperson.

The future use of the current Edmond Police Department headquarters was discussed by the Edmond City Council in November at a public workshop.

Options include gutting the 23 E. First St. building site for total renovation and reconfiguration. The second option calls for renovation and expanding the existing two-story building east to the building setback line for a total of 35,500 square feet.

“It’s the most efficient response we think, and provides you the most economical, viable solution,” said Thomas Small, owner and director of Small Architects.

A current construction budget for the building itself would be about $170 per square foot, Small said. Building a new addition would be $200 per square foot, he said. It would be possible to move into the building by 2018 if the council chooses to move ahead with the project as early as next year, Small said.

The third option considers renovating the building and expanding to the east with a three-story building. Whether to construct a new three-story administrative office building on the property was also discussed by the council.

Mayor Charles Lamb said the first floor of a new building could have a private enterprise aspect of retail and fine dining. No decisions have been made.

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