EDMOND — Architects and city staff spent two days this week discussing a location for the new $25.5 million public safety center and what it might look like.
“We are excited to get going,” said police Maj. Steve Thompson.
Council members promised to build the new center on city-owned land in a four-block area of downtown. They did not identify a specific location because they wanted the architect's input.
Mayor Charles Lamb has said a city building will have to be demolished. He suggested the administration building, 100 E First St., and the parking lot to the east. That would be large enough for the new center, estimated to span about 75,000 square feet.
The new public safety center will be the home for police headquarters, the 911 communications center and emergency management operations. A second building, for the crime lab and evidence storage, is expected to be built at a different location.
Architects are expected to make a recommendation for a location during a workshop this month, Thompson said.
The design work is expected to last nine months and the construction could take 18 months to two years.
City Engineer Steve Manek said the two-day meeting gave staff members and architects an opportunity to look at the options.
“We looked at different sites,” Manek said. “We looked at parking, safety and utility issues.”
Edmond voters on Oct. 11 approved a half-cent sales tax increase for five years. The additional sales tax went into effect April 1.
Voters also agreed to allow officials to use $7 million from the Edmond Hospital Fund. The deal allows the city to borrow money from itself at a lower rate and have available money to start the project earlier. The hospital fund will be repaid with the half-cent sales tax money.
Frankfurt Short Bruza architects have been hired for $2,065,821 to design the public safety center.