By Alicia Lacy
The Cove Herald
The new Copperas Cove police facility is taking shape as construction crews begin to wrap up work on the exterior of the building.
The new building began as an idea in 2002 and since then, the city and police department has been working to make it a reality.
With completion slated for December of this year, the police department held a groundbreaking ceremony in December 2008 and construction crews quickly got to work in January.
Toby Fry, superintendent of the work site, said several of the ongoing projects being worked on at the facility includes finishing the exterior of the building, installing the fence around the perimeter and sheet rock on the interior walls and painting the interior walls.
"We'll start installing the elevator in a couple of weeks," Fry said. "We're right on schedule. No more, no less, but on schedule."
Senior project manager, Lisa Finke, said equipment and furniture should be moved into the building in late November or early December.
The facility will have 11 male cells, two temporary holding/observation cells, one padded cell and five female cells in relation to the 11 cells the current facility has. Lt. Daniel Austin, public information officer for the police department, said the facility is designed to accommodate the department's growth.
The first level of the facility will hold: the department's communication and dispatch center and a secure interview room, storage, booking and evidence areas, an Intoxilyzer area, the records department and a vehicle processing area.
The second level will house the criminal investigations division, juvenile booking area, administrative offices for the chief, deputy chief and lieutenants, a male and female locker room and workspace for the patrol division.
A sally port is constructed on the side of the building in a high-security area where inmates will be brought in.
Officers transporting inmates drive through a card access gate and into one of two bays with electric door openers where an officer will receive the inmate.
In April, the department decided to retain all funds from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant, which was historically split between the department and the Coryell County Sheriff's Office, for a computer expansion program for the new facility.
Located at the intersection of Avenue E and Fourth Street, the city purchased 2.5 acres of land from the Copperas Cove Independent School District in September 2007 and an additional .5-acre from McMullan Construction for the two-level, 33,000-square-foot facility.
The facility is being developed by Rogers-O'Brien Construction, based in Austin, and Brinkley Sargent Architects, based in Dallas with the construction overseen by the Austin branch.