Roanoke City Council approved a contract for Construction Manager at Risk with Sedalco Construction Services on Jan. 10 to build the city’s new police and courts building.

“Right now we're still in the design phase, which lasts until October 2023,” said Police Chief Jeriahme Miller. “After design, we're looking at about an 18-month build.”

Besides a new building that will house the police department and courts, the site will also contain a shooting range for training. Previous Community Impact reporting stated that the projected cost for the main building, support building and site is $31.2 million, and a shooting range is estimated to cost $6.2 million for a total of about $37.4 million.

Miller said that since the site is still in the design phase, those numbers aren’t completely firm yet. Now that Sedalco is set as the construction manager at risk, the city will come up with the estimations, according to Miller.

Roanoke Police Department is increasing personnel, which makes the need for more space even more critical, Miller said.

“This last year we were able to add two officers, two dispatchers, an assistant chief and a part time property and evidence technician,” Miller said.

By adding those positions, the police department roster now stands at 39.

The current police station, which was converted from an old grocery store, is 17,500 square feet. The new building is proposed to be 58,400 square feet, more than three times the size of the current one, according to previous Community Impact reporting. The added breathing room comes as a relief for Miller and his staff, he said.

“We're out of space and every avenue right now,” he said. “For example, we were trying to hire crossing guards and do interviews and all the conference rooms were taken by courts. So we were trying to tuck people in offices to hold interviews.”

The new building will also house courts, which Miller says is busting at every seam.

“They've got four people working in an office that’s intended for one or two people,” he said. “Checking people in safely into the vestibules is an issue. Checking people out is an issue. They've severely outgrown their space.”

For firearm training, Roanoke officers must currently travel to different training facilities off-site, such as Tarrant County College and the North Central Texas Council of Governments in Arlington. Having a training range on-site would be helpful, Miller said.

“It's going to give us the ability to do a lot of our training on duty versus having to outsource it and go outside the city to do it. It's gonna be a game changer for us,” he said.

According to previous Community Impact reporting, the funding for the new police department building was aided by the passage of two propositions in May that established and created a Crime Control Prevention District, funded by a 0.5% sales tax.