The Town of Vienna and the Vienna Police Department officially broke ground on the new police station at 215 Center Street S. on Friday morning (Jan. 29).
During the ceremony, Police Chief Jim Morris, Mayor Linda Colbert, Town Manager Mercury Payton, and the project’s architect, Rod Williams, focused on the features of the station aimed at bringing the community together and into conversations with the police department.
“I never thought this was going to be such a Vienna effort. I honestly thought this was going to be a police department issue. It has been anything but,” Morris told the crowd gathered there in spite of the wind and chill. “We’re not just building a station, we’re building something the town needs and can use for a long, long time.”
The project includes places for the community to meet and hold ceremonies that the current police department space cannot accommodate, the police chief said.
Colbert, who reemphasized the connection between Vienna’s safety and its police department, recalled that the effort to build a new station dates back to when her mother was mayor. She lauded the support the project has received since then.
“I’m so proud that [our current council] has been so supportive of the police and the police station,” she said. “We need this police station for so many reasons: It will be more equitable to female officers, more environmentally friendly, and it will be safer and more secure and community-friendly.”
Payton said the station will “be a place all of our residents can come and enjoy,” while Williams — the architect — expressed hope that the building inspires the 41 sworn officers and 11 civilians who will be working there.
At approximately 30,000 square feet in size, the new facility will have space for a firing range, evidence storage, processing, and training, as well as more locker room for female officers. It also makes room for spaces designed to serve community needs, including a Town of Vienna emergency operations center, cable broadcasting, overflow for public meetings, and even a potential voting location.
In October, Vienna chose Hoar Construction as the contractor for the project after it pitched a total base bid of $13.2 million. The project is being funded with $14.9 million from bonds issued in March 2020.
The civil unrest and calls for reforms prompted more conversations among the department, the town, and the public, Morris told Tysons Reporter after the ceremony.
“We met with the mayor and some of these groups and asked them to tell us what they’re looking for,” he said. “We sat down…and talked with them, and I think some good came out of it.”
While the new building is under construction, the department is operating out of the former Faith Baptist Church next door. The Town of Vienna purchased the three-acre church property for $5.5 million in September to convert it into a public facility.