After years on the drawing board and under construction, the fire and police departments in Edwardsville will have a new home.
The $12.4 million public safety building constructed on the grounds of the old shelter care home will open with a ribbon cutting, open house and tours Saturday, Dec. 2. The building replaces the old fire and police stations on Main Street and sits adjacent to the new Leon Corlew Park at 333 S. Main St., on the site of the former shelter care home of Madison County.
Edwardsville Mayor Hal Patton said the building stands “as a testament” to the city’s commitment to public safety.
“Every effort was made to build in efficiencies to ensure the project fills the needs to the community now and in decades to come,” Patton said.
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Construction of the 51,000 square foot building began more than a year ago, with a two-story building including a dispatch center designed against tornadoes and earthquakes, a three-bay sallyport for the police department and fire and paramedic offices and living quarters on the main floor. The fire portion will hold six vehicles and an ambulance bay.
The second floor includes offices, locker rooms, firefighters’ bunk rooms, fitness area and training center. It was constructed as a “green” building, using natural light and energy efficient components, with a plaza remembering the five Illinois governors from Edwardsville.
Fire Chief Rick Welle said it will be a “professional building for professional people.”
City Administrator Tim Harr said the facility took a “total team effort,” from funding and timing to design and construction. Indeed, there have been delays with the project, with redesigns adding 10,000 square feet of basement and discussions with Edwardsville Township to potentially share the building, which eventually fell through.
The updated costs were estimated as of last year to be up to $14.5 million, but the final cost has been estimated at $12.4 million, according to city officials.
The public safety headquarters and park were constructed in tandem with the new $3.8 million fire substation located on the campus of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, providing fire protection to the campus and to the warehouse district on the west side of the city. That station opened late last year.
Welle said consolidating the two headquarters allows the police and fire departments to share resources. “The goal was to provide a single location to reap the benefits of a joint-use facility,” Welle said. “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.”
Welle said the city has put out requests for proposals to redevelop the old police and fire stations for new uses. The city council is currently considering a proposal from Gori Properties LLC to redevelop the site into a five-story, 60,000-square-foot office building to house Gori Julian & Associates, with 10,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space.
The dedication ceremony and flag-raising will begin at 9 a.m. Dec. 2 in front of the building. City staff will then provided guided tours until 1 p.m. Final move-in for both departments will be in mid-December, officials said. The building was designed by FGM Architects and constructed by IMPACT Strategies.