Preparing for a cold, snowy winter, contractors of the new Maryville Public Safety building are working toward having an enclosed building to continue construction on by the time more severe weather hits.
EL Crawford Construction began erecting the steel frame of what will become the new MPS building in October, and as of Nov. 13, the outlook for an enclosed structure by the winter months seems promising.
The new building, located at First and North Vine streets, will feature 132,270 pounds of steel from Nucor LMP Steel. The entire project is on track with original planning and is expected to be completed and ready for full occupancy operation by August 2020.
City Manager Greg McDanel said the coming weeks will be busy for the construction crew in order to meet necessary goals.
“As of now there are no weather delays,” McDanel said. “The contractors have been really good about looking ahead and planning for this type of thing.”
The push for a new public safety building came when the police and fire departments addressed issues with the current building and presented the issues to the council and city leaders.
Director of Public Safety Keith Wood said a recurring problem for law enforcement is how small and how close everything is and the lack of space for proper investigations.
“The new building will feature more open space and be more of what you would expect for a dispatch center,” Wood said. “This will also enhance investigations and help officers get the resources they need.”
McDanel also touched on the issue of space at the 222 E Third St. location, saying a more open floor plan and overall larger area indoors in the new building will help provide more space for an improved evidence room.
“There are a lot of issues with the current building,” McDanel said. “Right now it doesn’t meet the standard for law enforcement.”
McDanel said the fire division will have more space to house trucks and equipment and will be located in a more central location for dispatch at the new building.
The formal process of obtaining a new building for MPS began in 2013 when law enforcement and the city council met with architects to draft plans and access needs that the old building did not meet.
After five years of governmental hurdles and obstacles, the plans were finalized and construction began.
Wood said the final plan fit the vision of local law enforcement, and he said he is eager to see the finished product.
“It took some work to get done, but boy is it playing out,” Wood said.
The city council will meet several times in the next six months to discuss what will happen to the old building once everything transfers to the First Street location. McDanel said the council is presented with several options as of now.
“The facility could go on the market,” McDanel said. “We want to get a gauge of all options and see what will be best for that corridor.”