A ribbon cutting and tours will be held at 11 a.m. on Jan. 28 to celebrate the official opening of the new Willow Park Public Safety Building.
“The new public safety building provides a professional environment for our police and fire departments,” WP City Manager Bryan Grimes said. “It gives the hard-working staff a sense of pride, and helps them to better serve the residents and businesses of the city. It also helps the city with recruiting and retaining quality public safety personnel.”
The new building, 101 Stagecoach Trail, was made possible after voters approved a $4.6 million bond in May of 2016, and houses both the Willow Park police and fire departments.
“We are excited about having a facility we can be proud of. We are enjoying the modernization and professionalism of a purpose-built facility where we can host training and meetings,” WP Police Chief Carrie West said. “This is also the first time that the police department has had its own kitchen area with room to keep basic food items.”
The 15,000-square-foot building features large drive-thru bays for the fire trucks, a training room, men’s and women’s locker rooms, kitchens, evidence storage, a reception area and larger spacing all around.
“We are very excited to get to present the citizens the new fire station side. This is a beautiful facility and we are very proud to be in it. Everything has a place and is better organized. The training room is amazing and we are ready to start having training classes on site,” WP Fire Chief Mike LeNoir said. “We are just very grateful to have the support of the citizens, and we are very happy to call this our new home. We cannot thank the citizens enough.”
The old public safety building was recently demolished.
“We have preliminary plans for a park and some outdoor spaces,” Grimes said. “The initial concept plan was approved by the parks board this month and should come before council some time in the next couple of months.”
Outside of Weatherford, Willow Park is the only other city in Parker County that has both a full-time fire department and police department. LeNoir said the old public safety building was not equipped to handle both departments.
“Even though we only have two firefighters per shift, the space was very cramped with administration during normal business hours. We also did not have adequate living quarters for the firefighters when additional personnel came to the station,” LeNoir said. “There were two restrooms shared with one shower and [the shower] was in the kitchen. We did not have the storage that we do now to organize items. This new facility will now accommodate additional firefighters and we have more restrooms available.”
West said her favorite portion of the building is the training room.
“This portion of the building is shared with the fire department and it affords us the opportunity to have in-house trainings with modern equipment and also to host training and invite other agencies to participate,” West said. “The city of Willow Park is continuing to grow and a new facility was necessary to meet the growing demands for service. As we continue to move forward, increased training, special use rooms and storage for necessary materials will continue to be important. We are a professional organization and our facility projects that image.”
Light refreshments will be served during the tours and the public is welcome to attend.
“We welcome all Willow Park stakeholders to come see the new building and join us in celebrating the completion of the project,” Grimes said. “It’s a great demonstration of how the city is using tax dollars to make things better for our residents.”