Public Safety Construction Opportunities Warrant Attention
Construction firms that are not building public safety facilities may want to consider some of the upcoming opportunities in that area for a number of reasons.
Perhaps the most significant reason is that city leaders desperately need new or updated law enforcement and first responder facilities, and most also have other additional types of construction opportunities projects in the planning stages as well.
Government leaders who experience a good relationship with a construction firm tend to lean heavily toward using the same contractor for other construction projects. Additionally, word circulates quickly among public sector officials when any type of construction project is delivered on-time, on-budget, and free of major problems. Often, smaller construction projects lead to much larger ones.
There’s an abundance of opportunities for the construction of new public safety facilities in Texas, with even more in the planning stages for 2020 and 2021. Here’s a few that merit consideration.
The city of Denton has four propositions on its November bond election for public safety projects with costs estimated at approximately $222 million. The largest proposition will cover a $36 million public safety initiative that includes a new police substation with a cost of $21 million and an indoor firing range with a projected cost of $4.9 million.
El Paso voters will be asked to vote this month on a 2019 Public Safety Bond totaling about $414 million, which includes several public safety projects. The largest project – construction of a new police station headquarters – is estimated at $90.6 million. The current facility was built by Sears, Roebuck, and Co. in 1947 and has been in use by El Paso police since 1988. Additionally, four command centers are slated for renovations at a cost of $44.8 million. Other construction projects include a $38.6 million project at the Eastside Regional Command Center in District 5 and a $24.6 million project at the Central Regional Command Center in District 8.
Sugar Land has $90 million worth of projects on the ballot for its GO Bond election. Proposition B will provide funding for four projects with estimated costs of $26.3 million. The funding will cover both design and construction of an emergency operations center/public safety dispatch building and a public safety training facility. The former, with costs estimated at $11.5 million, includes construction of a 17,000-square-foot building that will feature dispatch, an emergency operations center, a 311-contact center, and parking. The training facility will be used by both police and fire departments and will accommodate classrooms, tracks, and a live fire shoot house.
Ovilla, located across both Dallas and Ellis counties, has five propositions totaling $6.1 million on the November ballot. Proposition C calls for $2.2 million for new public safety facilities and a small renovation project at a public safety facility used by the public works department. While the total cost is not high, other construction projects may be of interest and it is not uncommon to be selected for public safety projects as well as other construction projects.
Other upcoming construction projects related to public safety training facilities are outlined in capital improvement plans throughout the state. Samplings of upcoming opportunities include the following:
The city of Houston needs a new North Belt Division police station. City officials have announced plans to build a 35,000-square-foot facility that will adjoin an existing fire station in the Greenspoint area. The project is estimated at $16.7 million.
The Texas border city of Laredo has outlined plans to build a new police department annex. The facility will house detective, narcotics, juvenile enforcement team, special investigative unit, SWAT, and finance divisions. Estimated costs are $7.15 million, and construction is anticipated to begin in 2020. The city also has plans for three new fire stations, and those projects will likely exceed $11 million.
City Council leaders in Jacksonville approved conceptual design plans in September of this year and are moving forward with construction of a new $9 million public safety facility. The 28,000-square-foot facility will headquarter fire, police, communications, and emergency response operations. Officials report that construction will begin early in 2020 with an estimated completion of the project within 12 to 14 months.
The Bee County seat of Beeville has outlined plans for a new fire station and a new police headquarters in its capital improvement plan. An $8 million construction project for the fire station should begin in 2020 with a completion date of 2023.
The city of Sherman approved a $232 million five-year capital improvement plan in August. Officials want to construct a new $16 million police station. Plans call for it to be a 24,000-square-foot facility that will be built on a 5.4-acre site near the FM 1417 corridor.
The city of Weatherford plans to select an architectural firm in December for a new $14.5 million police station and a $4.5 million fire station. The design-bid-build project began with a request for qualifications. About a year has been designated for the design process, and city leaders hope to award a construction contract early in 2021. The new facility will include a meeting room, a private area where victims can report crimes, and a space that can be used for temporary care for small children. A study is underway to determine a location for the fire station.
Other Texas Cities
Other upcoming public safety projects include new fire stations being planned for the city of Austin and a new $12.25 million fire station project at the city of McKinney. Another fire station renovation project at the City of McKinney has an estimated cost of $13.35 million. The city of Conroe plans to construct a new fire station, and Bastrop County is planning to build a law enforcement administration building. The county also has a jail expansion project.
Construction opportunities of all types are abundant at the local levels of government today and even more are coming in the very near future. Now is exactly the time to be making introductions to public officials who are making plans to oversee these types of opportunities.