Longview: New Police Department Project to Break Ground in September
Feature Illustration (above): An early concept rendering of the planned three-story new Longview Police Department headquarters. Courtesy: City of Longview.
by Adolfo Pesquera
Longview (Gregg County) — The city’s new police department complex is estimated to reach the construction stage by September, according to a report submitted to the state Thursday by the project architect.
In November 2018, the citizens of Longview approved a bond proposition that included a $33.4 million budget for a new police department. At the time, City Council was already expecting the Dallas firm of Brinkley Sargent Wiginton Architects Inc. to design the facility, along with work they company was assigned to do for the Longview Fire Department.
A June 4 filing by the architect stated construction is estimated to be begin Sept. 1 and reach completion by March 31, 2022 at a cost of about $27 million.
The given address for the project site is West South Street, (no block number given). However, City Council has been acquiring lots on the south side of South Street at a piecemeal pace from various owners for at least two years.
To date, about 4 acres have been acquired in an area bounded by Luckett Street to the south, Julia Street to the east and Pearl Street to the north; Pearl runs parallel and south of West South Street. The city just has a toe-hold on property facing West South with its purchase of three contiguous lots that were once home to a cocktail lounge.
Gregg County Appraisal District map with the lots acquired by the city for the new police station marked in blue.
The site is across (south of) West South from the Municipal Court and the existing Police Department, which was constructed in 1976-77.
The new building is described as a three-story structure with an area of 70,880 square feet. This is VBX Project ID 2017-5492.
When this project was presented to voters at the ballot box, it was described as more than 68,000 square feet or about twice the size of the existing police department. The expansion was necessary to accommodate a police force and staff that has tripled in size since the 1970s.
Sine features of the new facility include a storm shelter, acoustical separation between work areas, bullet-resistant glass, emergency generators, secure interview areas, cameras and other security systems.
Brinkley Sargent Wiginton has extensive experience in the design of law enforcement facilities. These projects include the Texas DPS Crime Lab, the City of San Antonio Public Safety Headquarters, DART Police Headquarters, University of Oklahoma Police Department, and Grand Prairie Public Safety Facility.
Adolfo Pesquera (Reporter/Editor) is a veteran news journalist. He has worked for Hearst Corp., American Lawyer Media, News Corp and Freedom Communications. His work has been published in newspapers and magazines across the USA. He is a journalism graduate of UT-RGV. He writes, edits and creates digital pages for VBX.