Over-budgeting Delays Construction of Public Safety Building
Frostburg State University’s current public safety building, the headquarters of the FSU Police Department, is over 60 years old and in need of a modern replacement. Construction of a new police building was scheduled to begin in June 2015, but budget errors have delayed construction.
The new FSU police department building is a capital project currently approved by the Maryland Board of Regents. The board’s approval is required to pass through the capital division of the Department of Budget Management, which handles all approvals for the entire state of Maryland. After this process, the governor signs off on the approval, which then goes through the state legislature.
David Rose, Vice President of Administration and Finance, explained due to over budgeting, “we must go back to the drawing board and cut some pieces out of the building in order to keep it within budget.” The original building plans projected the facility to be about 9500 square feet, but this figure will ultimately be cut down. Currently, the estimated price of the new facility is being negotiated to ensure further over budgeting doesn’t delay construction for a second time.
“Our current police department doesn’t have separate holding areas, etc. It’s a former elementary school that’s been converted to the police building,” Rose said. The new police department will have modern facilities such as separate areas for holdings, increased and improved space, separate locker room facilities, and communications equipment. In addition, there will be a modern command center for potential natural disasters that is equipped with new computers, radios, and monitors.
The current public safety building project will remain postponed until there is a plan for its remodeling.
The College Avenue parking lot, across from Beall Elementary School, is slated to become the location of the new FSU police department, according to Rose. At press time, FSU officials did not provide a plan to accommodate parking. University and state budget cuts have left many details of the plans unclear.
The updated facility will not only improve the physical building of the police department, but should also provide a more efficient way for campus police to perform their daily duties, which should help in recruiting more officers in the future.
The current timeline for construction is expected to begin in March or April of 2016 and will take approximately one year, weather permitting, for the final construction.