The Edmond Sun

May 1, 2013

Chief says safety center will be built to last

James Coburn
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — Durability and efficiency are built into the design of the Public Safety Center, Police Chief Bob Ricks said. Proper materials were chosen for the building to last for a minimum of 50 years, he said. A sample of materials that will be used in constructing the safety center are on display at City First Building, 24 E. First St.

“It’s for aesthetics, but primarily for the Police Department it’s for durability,” Ricks said. The nature of police work can be rough on materials, he added.

“If it’s not done properly, it’s just scratched-up and beat-up. It looks like an old building almost immediately,” he said.

Ricks and city staff visited more than a dozen police departments before recommendations were made to enhance the long-lasting nature of the facility.

“We’re not looking at the highest grade. We’re looking at the best value,” Ricks said.

City Manager Larry Stevens said the anticipated costs for constructing the facilities combined with soft costs will be about $37.5 million. Some of those estimated costs are not directly related to constructing the buildings but are associated with the project as a whole.

Bidding for the project began last week and a construction contract is anticipated by June 10. Stevens said the estimated 22-month construction of the project should begin sometime in July.

Frankfurt Short Bruza architects has listed $2.209 million of possible adjustments for the project to reduce costs further.

The building will be a focal point for downtown Edmond, Stevens said.

“It’s a very appropriate facility for the Police Department, our organization, the community of Edmond,” Stevens said. “But it’s not extravagant and I think that’s what people expect.”

Ricks envisions that Edmond’s population base will grow to more than 150,000 residents in 50 years. More density will bring the need for police substations in the future.

Today’s population of more than 83,000 residents only needs the safety center to accommodate Edmond’s needs, Ricks said. Adding substations tends to impact the ability to share information in a streamlined manner, Ricks said.

“When we built this to serve us for the next 20 years, we built in room to grow,” Ricks said. Detectives’ offices for two people are being built to accommodate four detectives in coming years, he said.

“It’s going to be a central focal point for Edmond for many years to come,” Ricks said. | 341-2121