Beam Signing Occurs at Public Safety Building
Ribbon cutting to occur in February
University, state, and town officials attended a “beam signing” on Tuesday, September 13 inside the construction zone of the upcoming campus public safety building. The $5.5 million facility, set to open with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in February, will replace the current structure from 1955.
FSU President Ron Nowaczyk provided opening remarks before introducing Maryland State Senator for District 1 George Edwards. Edwards, a university alum, lobbied legislators and governmental officials in Annapolis for the updated facility as part of his service on the Budget and Taxation Committee. Nowaczyk noted that he is “pleased to say that the project is on schedule and on budget.” He further noted the potential economic benefits of the facility for the region, noting, “[it is] estimated that 80% of the construction dollars [for the building] will be spent in Maryland, and a sizeable portion of that is in Allegany County.” The construction contract was awarded to Harbel, Inc. of Cumberland, Md.
Frostburg Mayor Bob Flannigan provided remarks, noting the ongoing “partnership” between the university and the city, citing the historic cooperation between law enforcement officials from both agencies.
A proclamation was presented and read aloud by County Commissioner Bill Valentine, who lauded the university’s dedication to public safety, stating that “Frostburg State University enhances Allegany County and the lives of those who live here.” Valentine’s remarks were a notably positive endorsement of university operations and efforts, coming on the heels of the 2015-2016 academic year, during which the university received much criticism from the local community concerning campus and community safety.
The facility, which is only partially constructed, increased both the footprint of the campus police building as well as the facilities available to the force. Included in the blueprints of the facility are holding cells, a feature absent from the current structure on University Drive. Additionally, extensive spaces for evidence have been set aside for use. The completed building will be a far cry from the current facility, which was built as an elementary school in the historic Africa-American community of Brownsville over 60 years ago and purchased for little more than $50,000.
The new building is being built on site of a former student parking lot, at the intersection of University Drive and College Avenue in the northernmost section of the campus. The former lot was the largest student-only parking on the campus before the public safety project commenced. The storage of state vehicles and vans, which have been housed outside of the current police building, will not be moved to the new facility and will remain on University Drive.
Construction of an updated police facility has been on the campus radar for quite some time. The construction of the structure, as well as some new features like the holding cells, are necessary for the university to retain accreditation status from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). Construction of the facility was announced in 2014 and construction began on April 18, 2016.