By Rachel Leber
O’FALLON, Mo. — The City of O’Fallon celebrated the grand opening of the new City of O’Fallon Justice Center on Dec. 2. The opening included the O’Fallon Police Department and Municipal Courts.
The new $26 million justice center features more than 96,000 square feet of space and includes state-of-the-art technology and training spaces, an underground garage and sallyport. The O’Fallon Justice Center was designed Kansas City, Mo.-based Police Facility Design Group (previously known as Wilson-Estes Police Architects) and was built by McCarthy Building Companies, a national construction firm.
Special features of the new facility include a seven-stall indoor firing range and a firearms training simulator, a state-of-the-art training tool that supports marksmanship and judgmental training needs of law enforcement personnel. The project also includes 15 holding cells with separate cells for men and women as well as two ADA-accessible cells and one large group holding cell.
In addition, lecture and presentation spaces feature a 70-seat tiered training room, a mechanical and emergency power system to serve the building, a 911 center, CSI lab space, offices, evidence storage room and a courtroom. The building will also contain a FEMA-rated storm shelter. Specially designed duty lockers will provide maximum security for storage of the specialized equipment police officers carry while providing ventilation for body armor.
The building was paid for by bonds from a property tax increase supported by more than 60 percent of O’Fallon voters. “This building is truly a testament to how much our residents and businesses value public safety,” said Mayor Bill Hennessy in a recent statement. “As our Police Department outgrew its previous home in City Hall, we knew we had to ask our residents to fund the construction of a new facility through a tax increase. We are so grateful for their overwhelming support of this project, and I cannot wait for our residents to see this great new facility.”
Room for expansion on the facility was included in the design as preparation for growth of the City of O’Fallon over the next 30 years. Cost savings enabled the police department to build out nearly 9,000 square feet of additional space on the second floor for future expansion to meet the anticipated growth of the community.