Lawrence City Commission approves design contract for police headquarters

photo by: Nick Krug

Undeveloped land owned by the City of Lawrence, at 5100 Overland Drive, is seen from the north, looking south, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. The city has recommended the site, just north of the Walmart location at Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive, as a location for a new $17 million police headquarters facility.

City leaders have approved a design contract for the Lawrence Police Department’s new multimillion-dollar headquarters.

As part of its meeting Tuesday, the Lawrence City Commission voted unanimously to authorize a $1.35 million architectural services contract with Leawood firm Hoefer Wysocki for the new police headquarters. In the coming months, the firm will help the city determine what all can be covered by the $17 million available for the first phase of the project.

Assistant Director of Utilities Melinda Harger said that the first priority of phase one is to move all the functions currently housed in downtown’s Douglas County Judicial and Law Enforcement Center to the new headquarters, meaning that the police department will no longer operate out of that building. The downtown building is owned by the county and currently houses the police department’s patrol, evidence and records divisions.

The police department also has an investigations and training center in west Lawrence, located at 4820 Bob Billings Parkway. Harger said the next priority is to house administration in the new headquarters and then potentially investigations, but that the large amount of space needed for investigations meant that may not be possible to accomplish in the first phase.

As part of its design contract, Hoefer Wysocki will create a master plan for the new police department campus, which will be built on undeveloped land owned by the city near Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive and will also include a city park. The plan will include a holistic review to make sure the project is designed and planned efficiently for future stages of the campus. Harger said some of the decisions about what will be included in phase one will be based off that review.

“A lot of that will also depend on adjacencies and layout of what makes sense for phase one verses phase two,” Harger said. She said the city did not want to have a situation in the future where it goes to add a building to the campus or add onto an existing building and finds it would have saved the city money had the original design been different.

Hoefer Wysocki will also review and update the police department’s space needs assessment, which was conducted in 2012.

As part of their meeting Tuesday, commissioners also voted unanimously to authorize city staff to proceed with issuing a request for proposals for construction services for the project.

City Commission Meeting 08/21/18


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