That facility, located on the south side of Hwy. 71 west of the Shops at the Galleria, was built in 1998 and initially served as City Hall.
Now, the existing police department staff can barely fit inside, according to Chief Gary Miller.
“We’ve run out of space some time ago, so there is not any room for additional anything,” Miller said. “The evidence room is full, and [the building] was never really intended to be a police department, so there are some security concerns.”
Miller added there is no locker room where officers can change, nor are there any meeting or training spaces, and the fact that there is only one men’s and one women’s restroom does not help.
Miller said he is hopeful a new facility could be move-in-ready by the second quarter of 2021, but Bee Cave City Manager Clint Garza said he does not want to put a definite timeline on the project.
“We want to do it right,” Garza said. “I don’t want to crash the schedule and then run up costs that way. I’d rather get the right building built and get it done that way. We’re not in dire straits right now, and we’ve got the right chief and the right staff to operate the way we’re operating currently.”
Officials are still in the contract negotiation stage, having begun the search for design proposals from firms during the Jan. 14 City Council meeting.
Garza said other preliminary planning is also needed, including a determination on where to temporarily house the department until the permanent facility is complete.
“The only [space] we’re looking at right now is [a tract owned by the city of Bee Cave called] the Skaggs tract,” Garza said, referring to a plot of land on Bee Cave Parkway next to Hill Country Indoor.
Garza said while there is not enough room to house the department at its current location away from where construction would take place, the overall plan still calls for the new facility to remain at the same address as the current one.
Regarding costs of what is now assessed as a nearly $9 million facility, Garza said the city is exploring several financing mechanisms to pay for the project and emphasized the city does have enough to foot the bill.
“It may not go before the voters for a bond, but that is not off the table,” he said.