Thursday, July 25, 2024

Wilmington Fire and Police training facility, minus some features, aims for August groundbreaking

The current training facility is from the 1960s and has not seen any upgrades in decades.

An artist rendering of the WPD and WFD joint training facility (Port City Daily/Courtesy City of Wilmington)
An artist rendering of the WPD and WFD joint training facility. (Port City Daily/Courtesy City of Wilmington)

WILMINGTON — The City of Wilmington’s is expected to award a nearly $10 million contract to Clancy and Theys Construction Company for the construction of the new Wilmington Police Department and Wilmington Fire Department training facility.

Despite being the lowest bidder for the project, the cost for Clancy and Theys’ proposal is still more than $500,000 over budget allocated for construction, meaning some services will be removed in order to stay within budget.

The new training facility will be called the Haynes/Lacewell Police and Fire Training Facility. It is set to replace the current River Road facility, which was built in the 1960s, and according to Chief of Police Ralph Evangelous, has not seen any upgrades in 50 years.

The entire project is expected to cost $9.17 million, with a $750,000 contingency cost driving the total to $9.92 million. The city only has $9.4 million available for construction.

In order to account for the shortfall in funding, Evangelous said WPD will delay the purchase of two simulators and other equipment.

“We have withdrawn the two simulators, as well as use a little bit of the contingency money to be in budget … Our esteemed fire chief has agreed that any money left over, if there is any money left over in the Shipyard project, that he would ask you (council) to transfer that over to make up any difference here,” Evangelous said.

But the withdraw of the purchase of two simulators that would cost $700,000 is not necessarily a bad thing for the WPD, according to Evangelous.

“In reference to the simulators I’m not even sure we should purchase them, we might look at leasing them because technology is changing so quickly. We may ask some partners to help with this, so we think there are some ways for us to get these simulators,” he said.

Construction is expected to take about 13 months from the start date, which Evangelous is hoping will be in August of this year.


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