Westerville Police/Court Facility

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Building Project to Consolidate Operations and Improve Safety

In response to the ongoing space needs and safety concerns associated with the operation of the Police Division and Mayor’s Court, City Council is giving consideration to a plan to consolidate multiple facilities. 

The location for the proposed combined facility is 229 Huber Village Blvd, an existing office building acquired by the City in 2018. When renovated and expanded, the new facility would combine all of the bureaus of the Westerville Division of Police (WPD) including Mayor’s Court, Investigations, and Emergency Communications,  currently located at 21, 28 and 29 S. State St., respectively, in Uptown Westerville.  

The project addresses long-standing space needs that require multiple buildings and rented storage space, while also improving safety for the public and staff involved in the operation of the Mayors Court in City Hall.  Estimated construction costs are approximately $15M that would be financed through a voter-approved, 20-year bond issue, estimated at less than 1 mill. 

Westerville voters will decide the issue on November 5, 2019.

Huber Village Boulevard 06

Westerville Division of Police BadgePlanning for a new Police/Court facility has been underway for nearly a decade. The concept was planned for a number of reasons, including to unite staff and operations working across the City in multiple buildings and to improve safety with a dedicated Mayor's Court space. However, the primary reason a larger facility is needed because WPD has simply outgrown its current 30-year-old building. 

Volunteers and visitors frequently tour WPD headquarters and are consistently surprised by how compact the space is, considering the size of the department. The Police/Court Facility has been thoughtfully considered to meet the Westerville community where it has grown, helping the City to operate more efficiently and, ultimately, effectively.

About the Property

The City of Westerville closed on the purchase of 229 Huber Village Blvd. (the existing office building and land) in August 2018. The existing 28,500 sq. ft. complex will be expanded to make adequate room for all police and Mayor's Court operations. 

In the decade of planning before the purchase of the Huber Village Boulevard property, the City hoped to construct a new facility on the property currently holding the Westerville Armory and adjoining parcel, located at 240 S. State St. Despite the City's best efforts, this option never materialized. 

With the need for space still pressing, the City looked for alternate sites. With few undeveloped parcels in the four to six acre range available, the City evaluated options for other parcels. In late 2017, the property at 229 Huber Village Blvd. became available. 

Located just east of State Street and easily accessible from Huber Village Boulevard, with ample parking, the property provides a convenient point of access and aligns with the City's ongoing commitment to and investment in the southern portion of the City. By reusing an existing commercial building, the purchase allows the City to achieve lower overall development costs by taking advantage of site improvements already borne by the original developer, in addition to the reuse of 28,500 sq. ft. of existing office space.

In Total, How much will the Police/Court Facility Cost?

The City acquired the building and parcel for $1.9 million from its original asking price of more than $2.5 million. Construction costs to retrofit and build onto the facility are estimated at $15 million. The City plans to ask Westerville voters to approve the issuance of $15 million in General Obligation bonds for 20 years to finance the construction. 

If approved by voters, the City intends to list three surplus properties for sale to reduce the total number of facilities needed to support City operations.

How much will the Police/Court Facility cost residents?
The anticipated bond levy millage needed to service the $15 million project cost for 20 years is approximately 0.96 mills. For the owner of a $200,000 home, the estimated monthly cost would be $5.60 beginning in 2021.
What will happen to the existing WPD headquarters?
If approved by voters and upon the completion of the Police/Court Facility, City staff currently housed at 64 E. Walnut St. will move into the current WPD headquarters (29 S. State St., after it is converted). The East Walnut Street building currently houses the City's Planning & Development, Information Systems, Utility Billing, Income Tax and some Parks & Recreation programing space.

All Parks and Recreation programming will move to the Westerville Community Center when the facility's expansion project is complete in spring 2020. 
What will happen to the other properties currently housing police operations?

28 S. State St.

The former Westerville Post Office serves as the current home to the WPD Investigations Bureau. All staff in this building will relocate to the Police/Court Facility and this property will be sold.

240 S. State St.

This building is known as the "Westerville Armory" and was once home to the Ohio National Guard. It was purchased by the City in 2007 with the possibility of being used to support a future Police/Court Facility. However, the adjacent property needed for such a project has not been available for acquisition. The Armory property will be sold. 

64 E. Walnut St.

After the City departments within the building are relocated to the existing WPD facility, 29 S. State St., the property will be sold.

What are some of the specific needs that will be met by the new facility?
In addition to needed space, a Police/Court Facility will provide room for training and a dedicated court space for its weekly operations. Community meeting space would be available on days that Court is not in session. Several areas of the existing WPD headquarters are outdated and in need of repair. Its outdated shooting range, currently housed in the basement without good ventilation, will be replaced by a range that can be utilized on a daily basis. The space and condition of the jail's holding cells is also outdated and needing more maintenance. 
What other benefits does this project offer to Westerville?

Parking

The growth of WPD alongside Uptown over the past 25 years continues to put pressure on the overall parking availability in the District. Relocating the Police/Court facility to the new site will free up parking spaces in Uptown that are today occupied 24/7 by WPD and Court staff.

Future Growth

While the planned new facility at 229 Huber Village Blvd. is expected to meet the City's needs for several decades to come, there is more capacity at this site than the currently overcrowded Uptown locations can sustain for future growth.

Reduced Footprint

The combined facilities plan ultimately builds one new facility and eliminates three. The consolidation represents a more efficient configuration of space for operations and allows buildings currently housing public services to be converted into private sector uses.

How will a move impact emergency response times?
There would be virtually no impact to emergency response times. Officers are assigned to five districts across the City and are NOT dispatched from headquarters when responding to calls. WPD currently has one officer assigned to Uptown and space will be allocated at City Hall to maintain that assignment. 
When will residents vote on this issue?
This issue will be placed on the November 5, 2019 ballot. 
Where and how do I register to vote?

If you are a resident of Westerville and live in Franklin County, visit vote.franklincountyohio.gov.

If you are resident of Westerville and live in Delaware County, visit boardofelections.co.delaware.oh.us