RADFORD – Work is underway on the city’s new public safety building, which will house the city’s police department, emergency communications and city functions.
At Monday’s Radford City Council meeting, Radford City Manager David Ridpath told council members work has begun on the facility, which is expected to be completed in 2012. Friday, about 100 people attended a ground-breaking ceremony at the site, the former Old Colony Box Company building. The vacant manufacturing building will be renovated for the new municipal use.
Friday’s ceremony began with remarks by Radford Mayor Tom Starnes.
“So many people have worked many, many years to make this happen,” said Starnes. “This facility will be a tremendous asset to the citizens in the City of Radford.”
Congressman Rick Boucher, who was instrumental in securing funding for the project, also addressed the crowd.
“We have a clear need here for this facility,” Boucher said. “Across the entire district, I don’t think there’s a place we more of a need for a new police facility than in the City of Radford.”
“I can hardly wait until the spring of 2012 when we can all gather here again for a ribbon-cutting,” Boucher continued.
Boucher assisted the city in securing a nearly $7 million low-interest federal loan for the project, and also helped get Radford $437,000 in federal funding to purchase equipment for the new building.
Radford Department of Police Chief Don Goodman called the groundbreaking “an historic day,” and said the new facility will enhance the police department’s ability to serve the city’s citizens.
“I am excited beyond words,” Goodman said. “I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the many who have worked to make this happen.”
The new building will allow “the Emergency Communications Center to be rejoined with the Police Department, thus allowing public access to the facility 24-hours a day,” according to a statement from the city. “The need for a new building was also evident when considering the department’s 120-year-old facility lacks proper accessibility for those with mobility impairments, has inadequate heating, cooling, and plumbing systems, limited ability to incorporate technology upgrades, a single holding cell for arrestees, one interview room, and poor overall security.”
In addition to the police department and emergency communications functions, the new building will provide space for city administrative functions and a City Council chambers.
“Moving these offices into the new building will allow Constitutional offices, such as the Commonwealth’s Attorney and Voter Registrar, to move out of currently-leased space and into a central location in the Municipal Building on Second St.,” reads the city statement.
The facility has been designed by Thompson & Litton and Frith Construction was awarded the low-bid for construction last month.
The project is expected to take 12 months to complete.