Weslaco City Commission Agrees to Size, Scope of New Public Safety Complex
Feature Photo: The existing Weslaco Public Safety Center (above) will be sold by the city after the new complex is completed in the summer of 2022. Image: Google Streets.
by Adolfo Pesquera
Weslaco (Hidalgo County) — The City Commission approved a revised scope for the new Weslaco Public Safety Complex that increases the square footage of the police department component.
Over the past few months, the city staff, commissioners and architect of record have gone back and forth over the building size and cost. Most recently, the city was hoping to accomplish the task with a 26,682-square-foot facility at a cost of $7,388,075.
ERO Architects, the McAllen firm hired by the city in May, claimed the needs of the police and fire departments was closer to 39,664 square feet for a cost of $10,391,096. The architect was directed to negotiate further with the police chief on reducing that portion of the complex.
“Based on our discussions, ERO has changed the design costs on the building structure, roofing, interior and exterior walls,” the city manager told commissioners.
During the October 6 regular session of the City Commission, staff said ERO was able to reduce the police department section cost by about $500,000. The settled upon scope is now 32,202 square feet for the main building at a cost of about $10,800,000.
In addition, the Public Safety Complex will include a detached 5,000-square-foot metal building that will serve as storage for evidence and other storage needs.
The new complex (lower left) and the existing Public Safety Center (upper right). Google Maps.
The new building will be located on a 9-acre vacant lot at the northwest corner of U.S. Highway 83 Business and South Bridge Avenue. The address is 302 S. Bridge Ave. The city acquired that land from the Valley Growers Gin & Supply Co. in October 2019.
The estimated completion period is the summer of 2022. Once the various first responder departments relocate, the city plans to sell the existing police/fire/EMS complex at 901 Airport Drive.
That complex sits on a 3.3-acre tract. The building, at 17,198-square-feet, has been undersized for years. It was constructed in 1997.
The new building will include space for all police department functions, fire department administration, a municipal jail and a municipal court.
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.