The city of Westfield is planning to build a 50,000-square-foot police headquarters in the next two years that would be expandable as the city continues to grow.
Westfield Police Department Chief Joel Rush told the City Council on Monday that the department has not made a final selection on a location for the new headquarters, but officials are looking for a 10-acre site.
The headquarters could be expanded by up to 30,000 square feet, raising total square footage to as much as 80,000 square feet in the next 15 to 20 years. The department is basing the eventual size of the facility on the number of officers it expects to add and the city’s projected population by 2050.
Westfield is one of the state’s fastest-growing communities, with a population that increased from 9,293 in the 2000 census to more than 50,000 today.
Rush said the department projects to have 91 officers in 2030, 118 in 2040, and 153 in 2050.
“We want to build this right. We want to build it at one time. We want it to be our home forever,” Rush said.
Rush declined to provide an anticipated price tag to the Westfield City Council. He said the construction price will be clearer in 2024, but he did say that current construction costs for police stations are about $550 to $650 per square foot, which would put the price tag in the range of $27.5 million to $32.5 million.
Construction on the new headquarters is expected to begin in the second half of 2024 and be complete by the end of 2025. The police department’s current headquarters opened in 1997.
Chicago-based Dewberry Architects and Indianapolis-based Cripe Architects + Engineers are handling the pre-design and schematic design of the new headquarters. The police department has spent more than $1 million for pre-design and schematic design of the new building, Rush told the council.
The building would include work areas that promote collaboration, accommodate future technology, have a shared community room and feature wellness and decompression areas for officers.
Rush said police department officials have visited headquarters throughout Indiana and Illinois and studied national trends to learn what is included in modern police facilities.
The department issued a request for proposals and qualifications on July 5, and interested developers have until July 26 to respond. Chief of Staff Jeremy Lollar told the council that the city hopes to receive eight to 10 respondents.
The city would use a build-operate-transfer agreement for the project. That type of arrangement—which was authorized by a 2017 state law—is a form of public-private partnership that shifts the burden of cost overruns to a developer.
The Westfield Fire Department also plans to move into a new headquarters this year. The department broke ground last year on the $12.8 million, 36,000-square-foot Fire Station 81 on the southeast side of the intersection of East 171st Street and Ditch Road.