By Lisa Kopochinski
TERRE HAUTE, Ind.—Work on the new Terre Haute Police Department in Terra Haute, Ind. has begun.
With a total construction cost of approximately $11.8 million, the new police department is the former 46,000-square-foot Tribune-Star building located downtown. Garmong Construction is doing the renovation and construction work.
In a statement, Terra Haute Mayor Duke Bennett said the city’s bond rating for the sales was BBB+ with a stable outlook for the city’s Redevelopment Commission that allowed the city to obtain a 2.7 percent interest rate for a 20-year team.
“One of the benefits we got for waiting a little bit was a very, very good interest rate. Our payments will be covered by Tax Increment Finance (TIF) dollars. We are getting a bigger building than what we were going to build (and) at a lesser cost, so it is an almost perfect scenario. It is in the downtown area and closer to our existing facility, and we are putting a vacant building back into use.”
The new police department will include an addition at the south end of a new garage with four entrances. Another two garage entrances will be for lab technicians to conduct searches of vehicles involved in crime.
With a completion date slated for fall 2021, the project also includes new furniture and information technology (IT) equipment, that will essentially be a backup to City Hall.
“We run dual systems at City Hall and the existing police station, so we will do that here and have a backup for our entire city network,” said Mayor Bennett.
The new building will have three training rooms—two on the ground level and one in the basement. There will also be a workout room, storage vault and an evidence lock-up room and crime lab in the basement.
Administrative offices and space for detectives—including interrogation rooms and a conference room—will be located on the second floor. There will also be an area for 10 desks for the Vigo County Drug Task Force, a federally funded narcotics unit comprised of the Vigo County Prosecutors Office, the Terra Haute Police Department, and the Vigo County Sheriff’s Department.
The ground floor foyer will include the main area for the public, a records room, desk officer and code enforcement—each behind ballistic glass screens.
“So, 90 percent of what the public needs, they will be able to walk into this foyer and get those things,” said Police Chief Shawn Keen, in a statement.
“It will increase security, but also enhance our ability for customer services and help further our community policing effort. We want people to feel like this is your police department. It is a safe place if you want to come to have public meetings.”
The Police Department plans to be in the new building by August 2021.