BECKLEY, W.Va. — Construction on a new, long-awaited police headquarters for the City of Beckley has begun.
Digging equipment and vehicles are visible on the site next to the Beckley Intermodal Gateway along Leslie C. Gates Place. Beckley Mayor Rob Rappold told MetroNews affiliate WJLS construction will move quickly.
“They’re ready to get started. We’re really excited and hope for a late spring, early summer completion date on that. So we have a fairly aggressive construction schedule.”
Rappold also said the state-of-the-art facility will further improve the appearance of uptown Beckley. The area has gone through several transformations in recent years with the addition of the Intermodal Gateway and upgrades to Word Park.
“It will be a hallmark showplace I think, due to its location and the fact that it will be state-of-the-art both inside and out. We’re going to have professional interior design and space planning services to help us furnish the interior and to make sure all the data ports and electrical hook ups are where they should be.”
The mayor applauded Beckley Police Chief Lonnie Christian, who has helped lead the entire process.
“He takes every responsibility on and manages it in great detail. He’s a brilliant guy, he’s a thinker and this will certainly lead us to a superior product in this new headquarters.”
The current police headquarters, located along Prince Street, has housed the department for around 40 years. The building has several maintenance issues including roof leakage and structural problems. It has also become too small for the department’s needs.
Plans call for a two-story building not to exceed $8 million dollars with funding coming from the Beckley Building Commission’s Lease Revenue Bonds. The future of the current building is uncertain at this point, according to Mayor Rappold.
“The building is in such bad condition that it wouldn’t surprise me if we take it down and probably add some parking in that lot.”
Persinger & Associates of Charleston were selected earlier this year to complete the job.