The Edmond Sun

November 25, 2013

Official: Edmond safety center on or ahead of schedule

Mark Schlachtenhaufen
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — Much like ancient archaeological sites contain layers that help identify conditions in ages past, work at Edmond’s Public Safety Center has unearthed some interesting items.

Excavation work has revealed the footprint of the 70,000 square foot facility being built at the southeast corner of First Street and Littler where the city’s Administration Building once stood.

The city’s intriguing history began on the wind-swept Oklahoma prairie as a coal and watering stop along the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway south through the Unassigned Lands. On April 22, 1889, Edmond became a town.

During the ensuing months, years and decades, the city grew and recorded many firsts in Oklahoma Territory — the first church (St. John’s), the first continuously published newspaper (The Edmond Sun), the first public schoolhouse completed in 1889 and the first higher education campus, what would become the University of Central Oklahoma.

Streets and businesses were built. Storms blew dust over the landscape. Old structures gave way to new ones.

On Aug. 23, city leaders broke ground at the Public Safety Center construction site. Timberlake Construction is the contractor for the $27.4 million project, and had 720 days to complete it upon notice to proceed.

Edmond Police Maj. Steve Thompson, deputy chief of police, is coordinating the project for the Edmond Police Department. During excavation, trucks hauled about 40,000 cubic yards, about 4,000 truck loads, of Oklahoma soil out of the future basement, Thompson said.

Discoveries during excavation included a partial asphalt parking lot and many other items officials were not aware existed.

“If you think about it, Edmondites have been stomping around on this very land for a very long time,” Thompson said. “The excavator also said that he had located some old pop bottles and medicine bottles. He hauled them off and I am still trying to recover them to put in our display case in the new building or maybe in the time capsule.”

Thompson said the dirt was hauled off to various locations including the Police Department’s training center, where it is being used to build up berms on the rifle and pistol ranges. It also will help with noise reduction in the area, which is becoming more populated, Thompson said.

A committee appointed by the mayor and City Council has met to discuss the size and location of the time capsule so it can be coordinated with the architect and contractor, Thompson said.

Thompson said Timberlake is doing very well, and they are either on or a little ahead of schedule. They should be done with the basement wall at the end of this week and then start building columns and support beams in preparation for the first floor to start coming out of the ground, Thompson said.

The Police Department expects to occupy the new building, along with Emergency Management and communications personnel, in 2015.