EDWARDSVILLE - The City of Edwardsville will unveil its new $12.4 million Public Safety Building to the general public with a ribbon cutting, open house and tours on Saturday, Dec. 2.

Mayor Hal Patton believes this is a watershed moment for the Edwardsville community.

“Public safety is one of the basic tenets of local governance. This new Public Safety Building stands as a testament to the city’s commitment to its citizens to provide the highest level of police, fire and emergency medical services possible. Every effort was made to build in efficiencies to ensure the project fills the needs of the community now and in decades to come,” he said.

Tim Harr, Edwardsville city administrator, said, the facility took “a total team effort – city staff, the architects, the general contractor and all the subs.” Harr noted that a lot of meetings have been held over not just the design and construction of the building, but also the funding and timing. “I’m pleased to see the project come together. We’re bringing it in within budget and with minimal user changes. That’s the result of good planning.”

“This building was constructed with quality in mind. It will last for many years to come – a professional building for professional people,” Harr said.

A brief ribbon-cutting and flag-raising ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. in front of the new facility at 333 South Main St. City staff will then provide guided tours for the public until 1 p.m. Final move-in for both departments will be in mid December.

Construction of the 51,000-square-foot combined police/fire headquarters began just over one year ago. Designed by FGM Architects, Inc., and constructed by IMPACT Strategies, Inc., the two-story structure features a fully-hardened dispatch center on the first floor to protect against tornadoes and earthquakes. A three-bay police sally port allows for the safe and efficient moving of suspects into a state-of-the art holding and processing area. Detectives, sergeants, patrol officers and staff all have ample room for daily operations.

“We kept the safety of the public and the safety of our employees paramount when designing this station,” said Edwardsville Police Chief Jay Keeven. “We understand that this is a once-in-a-career opportunity to get it right. It provides a safe workplace that will serve to improve the efficiency of our staff and the overall services we provide to our citizens .”

Fire and EMS operations will also be on the first floor, including offices, living quarters and a six-vehicle truck and ambulance bay. Edwardsville Fire Chief Rick Welle said, “The goal was to provide a single location to reap the benefits of a joint-use facility. By sharing resources, we are exercising sound stewardship of public funds while providing our employees with a work environment that will improve their ability to safely do their jobs. The IT capabilities of our new headquarters alone will better keep us in pace with the changing world around us.”

The second floor features administrative offices as headquarters for both fire and police. It also has conference rooms, police locker rooms, fire department bunk area, and a joint-use training room and physical fitness area. The training room will double as an emergency operations center, and can be used as a community room for as many as 80 participants. A 10,000 square-foot basement provides room for future growth.

The brick and stone structure features plenty of windows for natural lighting and energy efficient components of a green building. On the north side of the site a plaza commemorating the five Illinois governors with an Edwardsville connection will include a fountain and benches. The Leon Corlew Park splash pad and playground sit behind the new building.

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