LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Construction will soon begin on the City of Lafayette's new public safety building and parking garage. Community leaders and members from all around the county gathered Tuesday evening to break ground on the $55 million dollar project.
As we previously reported, the city first shared renderings of the new facility in December.
"We officially break ground on to construct the state-of-the-art facility that will take the Lafayette Police Department well in to the future," began LPD Chaplain, Dr. Will Miller.
In all of its history, LPD has never had its own building built to its own needs and specifications. The police department was headquartered in the basement of the county courthouse for about 60 years from its inception in the mid-1800's. In 1941, the department moved out of the courthouse to the old city High School in 1941. It moved again to City Hall in 1951. While City Hall was under construction in the mid-1990's, LPD was scattered across downtown offices. It finally moved back to City Hall in 1995 where it still remains.
The construction of this new building will put an end to that history, finally giving LPD a permanent home. Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski said it's about more than a new brick and mortar building.
"It's about what the building will represent to the community," He said. "It's about the men and women who risk their lives everyday for us and what they will be doing in that building. It's about how the community will now have a place to interact with the police department in a way we've never had before."
As the city continues to grow, leaders want to make sure safety infrastructure matches that growth. The department has doubled in size since 1995, and now covers 9 districts.
"Everybody will be touched by the building we are going to break ground on here today, and not just us but generations to come," said Mayor Roswarski. He held his young grandson in his arms to drive that point home even further. "It's about providing for this generation."
The new building will be located in the parking lot across the street from City Hall between 6th and 7th Streets and Columbia and South Streets. It will have leading technology and innovative safety programs to meet the public's needs. They are also looking to incorporate green space between the two buildings for events, meetings, and public gatherings.
"This is going to be the next big leap from being a state leader to even a national leader in what we do," said LPD Chief Patrick Flannelly. "The demand for transparency and the need for transparency has become so much more pronounced. We feel really confident that this project is looking to set us up well to be able to leverage this technology moving forward."
They are also building a brand new parking garage that will be open to the public to use and the use of city employees. It will add 486 new parking spots to the downtown area.
Construction will begin shortly on the building and it is expected to be complete in the first quarter of 2023. Click here to read the city's FAQ page about the project.