The agency that trains most of the state's law enforcement officers wants to expand.
The Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center near Hutchinson, which is operated by Kansas University, on Thursday will ask the Kansas Board of Regents to approve purchase of a 20,000-square-foot building on 11.1 acres of land near the existing facility.
"They don't have enough classroom and meeting room spaces," said Warren Corman, university architect. "In the dorms, they're sleeping three to a room instead of two. This will be a nice addition, and it's right across the street. It's a perfect space for them."
The building currently is owned by Collins Industries, which builds ambulances. The company is moving its offices to Florida.
According to documents provided to the Board of Regents, KLETC leaders have negotiated a price of $417,000 for the land and property. The average of three independent appraisals estimated the price at $512,867, and Corman estimated it would cost KU $1.5 million to construct a new, comparable facility.
"It's a heck of a deal," he said.
Building improvements and expansions are funded through money from state traffic tickets. Corman said KLETC has the money on hand to make the purchase.
Ed Pavey, KLETC director, was unavailable for comment Tuesday.
But Corman said the training center had seen an increase in the number of officers it trained in recent years, in part because of additional training requirements.
About 450 new officers undergo 14 weeks of training there annually.
An additional 2,500 officers take continuing education classes each year.