The new Turlock Public Safety Facility set to house police and fire departments, located at Broadway Avenue and Olive Avenue, has had a slow and sometimes controversial start with a public process that started approximately four years ago. The struggle started with the question to build a new 57,500 sq. ft. facility or upgrade the old facility to meet code. Citizens spoke up in opposition due to their concerns about the cost and potential funding issues. The City Council decided that it was more economical to build a new facility that will serve the community’s needs for the next 50 years.
However, that was not the end of the issues to get the project going. Shortly after the approval of the project, the State of California started their "grab" of redevelopment funds to help balance the state budget. This affected the ability for Redevelopment Agencies to get bonding with the uncertain future of funds if the state continued to take from agencies. The State of California also was proposing eliminating Redevelopment Agencies.
The City of Turlock had to move quickly in issuing bonds and awarding bids with the looming new state legislation. In January 2011, The City of Turlock Redevelopment Agency issued bonds in the amount of $13.5 million which was added to the $28 million total of funds needed to complete the Public Safety Facility project, including contributions from the estimated $2.5 million from the hopeful sale of the existing police station on Palm Street, and the projected $8 million in Capital Facility Fees (fees paid by developers for the cost of City infrastructure). At a special Meeting in February 2011, the bids were awarded to a variety of contractors for the building and off-site improvements. The new Turlock Public Safety Facility has a total price tag of around $33 million.
The project broke ground in March 2011, but again was held up by soil contamination and rebidding of trade categories. Delays due to rebidding and the remediation of the contaminated soil delayed the proposed completion date of the project by approximately 100 calendar days.
Eight months later, on-site improvements are nearly complete and a crane is on-site to begin erecting the steel frame of the building. On-site improvements included the rough grading, the perimeter wall and the installation of underground pipes and conduits. Some of the costs of these improvements were shared with the Carnegie Arts Center construction to save both projects money. As more of the frame is installed, other trades will start to work on the building as well.
According to Anthony Orosco, City of Turlock Senior Civil Engineer, off-site improvements are expected to be completed by the end of December. Improvements include street, median and sidewalk improvements, installation of street lights, and improvements to the crosswalk areas on Olive and Broadway.
Orosco said that people should expect construction activity on the Lander Avenue median for the next three to four weeks.
Despite the delays, the duration of the project was only extended by 36 working days. Completion of the facility is expected in July 2013.
The City of Turlock has a computer rendered video tour of the facility at the link below: