Alabaster OKs design contract for new police station

Published 11:38 am Wednesday, November 28, 2018

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – The Alabaster City Council moved one step closer to bringing a new police and court building to the city during a recent meeting, as it voted to enter into a design contract with a Birmingham-based engineering firm.

During a Nov. 19 meeting, council members voted unanimously to enter into the contract with Williams Blackstock Architects to provide architectural and engineering design services for the new building.

If constructed, the 30,000-to-35,000-square-foot building likely would be near the intersection of U.S. 31 and Fulton Springs Road on land the city already owns, and would house the Alabaster Police Department, Municipal Court and magistrate offices.

Williams Blackstock will handle the schematic design of the building and will serve as the construction administration company for the project for a fee of 6 percent of the total cost of the project.

Through the agreement, the company will complete design and construction documents in 10-to-12 months, and construction likely will take 12-to-14 months. The estimated budget for the project is between $10 million and $12 million.

The contract with Williams Blackstock game about two months after council members voted unanimously to enter into contracts with the Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood company to conduct geotechnical and environmental studies on a few pieces of property near the intersection of U.S. 31 and the newly expanded Fulton Springs Road.

Through the contracts with Goodwin, Mills and Cawood, the city paid the firm $5,000 to provide environmental consulting services, and will pay the company $6,975 to conduct geotechnical studies on the land. The studies determined the land was suitable to house the police department.

Alabaster’s current police station is near the intersection of U.S. 31 and Second Place Northwest, and has been in use since the 1950s. The police station was able to expand into the top floor of its current building after City Hall moved into its new location in 2015, but the aging building constructed several decades ago is struggling to meet the needs of a department serving nearly 30 times the population it did in the mid-20th century.

APD originally was set to get a new police station through an agreement between the city and the developer of the upcoming District 31 shopping center near the intersection of U.S. 31 and Interstate 65, but land constraints didn’t provide enough space for the new police station near the shopping center.