A new public safety building that will house both the police department and parking services for Weber State University on the northwest corner of campus is expected to be completed in June 2014.
The north entrance to campus has been permanently closed and the adjacent parking lot will be converted into parking for the WSU Police Department and Parking Services staff members. A total of 64 employees will occupy the new building.
The one-story, 10,086-square-foot building will boast a state-of-the-art emergency operations center. The facility will also serve as the 911 dispatch center for the university, as well as a backup center for Weber and Morgan counties, which includes nine surrounding cities. A few of the features include backup generators, solar-powered equipment and an analog phone system in case of an emergency.
“It will help greatly in our efforts to maintain a safe and welcoming campus,” said Norm Tarbox, vice president for administrative services at WSU.
The technology being incorporated into the new building is designed to strengthen the university’s infrastructure by adding a secondary server, providing improved 911 delay response time, and allowing the police department a more noticeable presence on campus.
According to WSU Police Chief Dane LeBlanc, the current antiquated building is a health hazard with bursting pipes, sewer seepage, out-of-date technology and building codes violations. The new public safety building “will improve the quality of life” for employees, LeBlanc said.
A new building has been in the works for several years now, and LeBlanc said he’s looking forward to the day his employees will no longer have to work in an unhealthy building.
“R&O Construction shares in the excitement of the WSU police and parking services staff in being part of the team delivering this state-of-the-art facility to WSU,” said Eric Stratford, director of business development for R&O Construction.
Once construction is finished, the old police department building will be demolished and converted into additional parking. An estimated 70 stalls will be added to the W7 parking lot by the beginning of fall semester.
Funding for the project came from various administrative accounts and will not result in an increase in student fees, according to Tarbox. Construction costs for the new building are estimated at $2.5 million.
Tarbox said the architecture of the building will complement that of recently completed projects like the Wildcat Center, Elizabeth Hall and Wildcat Village, and that he thinks the new public safety building is a great addition to the campus.
“The rooftop solar array has been integrated into the building architecture, reflecting the university’s commitment to energy efficiency and environmental responsibility,” Tarbox said. “For years the police department and parking services have been in need of an upgraded space in order to better provide services to the students and faculty on campus.”