Saturday, April 20, 2024

City Holds Information Session on Planned Williamsburg Police Station

New Police Station Informational to discuss current plans (WYDaily/Jillian Appel)

WILLIAMSBURG — The City of Williamsburg held a public information session at the new Williamsburg Fire Department on Feb. 22 about the design and location of a planned new police station.

Discussion of a project to address the current, aged police station building began in 2016. After deciding to build a new building versus renovating the current station, the city council voted to authorize purchasing a portion of 715 Lafayette St. in December 2021 to accommodate a new station on the site

Representatives from the city’s Police, Planning and Codes Compliance, and Public Works departments were all in attendance, as well as representatives from the design-build  team of Henderson Inc. and Moseley Architects, to discuss how the new station location was chosen and consider other alternatives.

“Our new facility will give us meeting space, it will allow us to do 21-century training, explosion training, just a number of the types of things we don’t have the space for now,” said Williamsburg Police Chief Sean Dunn. “We’re also excited that the library will have a chance with [the police located where it currently is] to be able to expand into a lot of different possibilities.”

Bid solicitation for the design-build team began in June 2022 and yielded two proposals. City Council chose Henderson Inc. for this project at its November 2022 meeting. In October 2023, City Council voted unanimously to authorize that the city manager enter into a comprehensive agreement with Henderson Inc. to build a new 43,400-square-foot police station adjacent to the Municipal Building on Lafayette Street.

The new station will feature:

  • A community room with seating for 70 people 
  • A state-of-the-art property and evidence facility
  • Space dedicated to officer wellness, including a fitness facility
  • Multiple interview rooms for suspects
  • Dedicated reporting rooms for victims and families
  • Sally port for transferring suspects into the building

The event featured various stations around the Fire Department to allow citizens to ask questions and discuss the options and reasons for constructing the new building at the new location.

A presentation was given at the start, with Dunn explaining the timeline and giving a broad overview of the project. The following stations broke down the pros and cons of not only the area chosen, but also several of the considered alternative locations.

Current Police Station Plan (Provided by The City of Williamsburg)

The location on Lafayette Street is expected to cost the least to build ($19,240,250) but would also allow multiple points of entry, involve very little change to the existing utility lines, keep the building a good distance from the train tracks, doesn’t involve moving an already existing building and keeps the station located downtown.

“I really feel when we get into the new building, we’ll have an opportunity where officers can come to work and they will feel valued and appreciated. And they certainly should,” Dunn said. He also noted the amount of support and appreciation the community vocalizes for the police force. “Overall, I think it’s a win-win for both us and the community.”

The estimated completion for the station is in the fall of 2025. The current police station on Armistead Avenue will be demolished once the new one opens.

More information can be found on the official Police Station Project page, including the breakdown of the alternative locations.

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