Tuesday, November 3, 2009

History of the Snellville Police Headquarters & looking toward the future

Have you ever looked at the Snellville police station on Springdale Road and wondered why it doesn't look like an ordinary police station?

There's a good reason for that. It wasn't built originally to be a police station. It was an old utility building that the Snellville City Council voted to purchase and renovate at a cost of $1 million dollars in 1998.

In 1999, under the leadership of Chief Johnny Davis, the Snellville Police precinct headquarters moved from Main Street (US78) in Snellville to its current location on Springdale Road - largely due to the traffic problems on US78. It was a safety and time issue - police officers starting their shifts and citizens leaving the location had to cross over 6 lanes of traffic to exit.

It was a great idea to repurpose the building, but it doesn't meet the Snellville Police Department's current needs. It doesn't have enough interview rooms, records and evidence storage. The police department also needs to have an elevator and other changes to make it accessible by the disabled.

The Snellville Police will have a new, state-of-the-art public safety facility on the block of Oak Road and Wisteria in Snellville. About 5 million dollars was set aside from the 2004 SPLOST for this project.

The new facility will be the first Snellville police station has had that was originally meant and built to be a police station. If Snellville voters continue their backing of the 'penny sales tax' in November, then that will fund the development of the public safety campus project. The City of Snellville has a contract on two parcels of property near the corner of Wisteria Drive and Henry Clower Boulevard. The total cost of the project to fall somewhere between $1.8 and $6.8 million dollars.

A $140 million upscale residential community called Wisteria Square, which will feature condos, office space, shops and an amphitheater, is also on tap to be developed nearby on Wisteria Drive. The new public safety complex is expected bring more interest to the Wisteria Square development, which stalled when the economic downturn hurt the real estate market.

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