Planning is now underway in El Paso on a series of public safety facility construction and upgrade projects that include a long-desired new police command center on the city’s east side.
That center is expected to cost around $38.6 million to build and will give to the El Paso Police Department its first facility presence in a section of the city that has seen its population increase from 211,000 in 2010 to more than 239,000 today.
El Paso voters earlier this month approved a $413 million bond that will also fund construction of a new police headquarters. The project will replace the late 1940s structure at 911 N. Raynor Street that currently serves as the department’s headquarters.
That building, formerly a Sears & Roebuck store, has been plagued with a number of structural issues including a leaking roof and generally aging infrastructure.
It is projected that the new police headquarters will cost just under $91 million to build. The location for the new headquarters is currently not known.
Additional police facility work includes the $20 million building of a new training academy. The current academy building at 2300 Scenic Drive was built in the mid-1950s. A location for a new academy has also yet to be determined.
A central regional command center is forecast to cost $24.6 million to build and will replace the current command center location at 200 S. Campbell Street. That facility is more than 120 years old and was last upgraded in 1994.
Four separate regional command centers, with a combined price tag of $44.8 million, are also expected to be remodeled and renovated.
The public safety bond was approved by El Paso voters by a 59 to 41 percent margin.
By Garry Boulard