Ground was broken Friday morning at 100 E. First St. to build a new Public Safety Center in Edmond.
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.
“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.
“We’re not only breaking ground on a facility that is sorely needed in the community,” said Matt Stillwell, director of Central Communications and Emergency Management. “But one that brings us up-to-date, and postures us to successfully conquer the challenges we face in a world of ever-changing operations, technology and personnel issues.”
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.”
Ricks thanked the Edmond community for supporting the safety center. City Manager Larry Stevens never gave up on the project, Ricks said.
“Without Charles (Lamb), I have no doubt we would not be standing here today,” Ricks continued.
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, McNayr said.
“The Police, Central Communications department, Emergency Management and dispatch department — these men and women are some of the most passionate and engaged professionals with whom we have ever worked,” McNayr said.
The Timberlake Construction family and many of its employees are residents of Edmond, said CEO Dave Timberlake. Timberlake Construction also built the city’s Cross Timbers Municipal Complex at Covell and Interstate 35.
“We are very excited about continuing this relationship and are excited about this project,” Timberlake said.
Councilwoman Elizabeth Waner said Friday was a great day for Edmond, but the day will be greater in two years when the safety center opens.
“The community came together and made it happen. I’m excited,” Waner said.
Councilwoman Victoria Caldwell said she appreciates Edmond citizens for approving the project. “It’s due to their work and their willingness,” Caldwell said.
Councilman Darrell Davis said the state-of-the-art safety center will enhance the community’s safety and protection
“We’re very fortunate to have the support of the people of our city to pay for a new facility like this,” Police Capt. Tim Dorsey said.
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