Details and renderings of the new Weatherford Public Safety Building were revealed at Tuesday night’s city council meeting.
“In 2014, there was a need shown and five years ago, when I started running for council, I toured the police department and I realized there was a need from just going through it,” Place 4 Councilmember Kevin Cleveland said. “We had a general plan put together [in 2018] with 30 citizens, 13 planning and zoning members and five council members that all put that in the general plan as a need and so we’ve been planning this for a long time. It’s a well thought out plan, a well put together plan and it’s a great way to address a need that we’ve had for a while.”
The current Weatherford Police Department is about 14,959 square feet, but the new PSB, which is being constructed across the street from the Parker County Sheriff’s Office on Fort Worth Highway, is proposed to be about 38,000 square feet.
“It’s total public safety from all police divisions, fire administration, fire prevention and emergency management will be under one roof,” Weatherford Police Chief Lance Arnold said. “We have space for other public safety organizations, like state police and other organizations that may want to work or even be housed in our facility, and we have space to grow as our community grows.”
The new PSB will have private areas for the public to discuss issues with officers; a multipurpose room, which will be elevated with a view of the courthouse, that can be utilized for training and community events; and a main entry plaza for outdoor events and press conferences. The facility will include a storm shelter that will be able to hold all inhabitants and withstand up to 240-mile per hour winds
“The building gives us the ability to increase our public safety and investigation capacity — really everything across the board,” Arnold said. “And it serves as a symbol of city pride and support for public safety on a gateway to downtown.”
Following Arnold’s presentation on the new facility, the city council unanimously approved an amendment to the agreement with SEDALCO Inc. to establish a guaranteed maximum price not to exceed $18.9 million for the construction of the building.
“The basis of any strong community is public safety and so this is a strong statement that we are preparing for the growth that we are experiencing, we are committing financially, logistically,” Weatherford Mayor Paul Paschall said. “I made this statement when we first entered into a contract with SEDALCO that if anybody wonders where this council stands on its relationship with public safety, we’ve just answered your question.”
A public groundbreaking ceremony for the Weatherford Public Safety Building will be held at 2 p.m. on April 23 at 802 East Oak Street.
“We just have a first-class police force and first responders across our entire community, and I think this facility communicates that in building form that Weatherford is a strong community,” Place 3 Councilmember Matt Ticzkus said.