UAB breaks ground on new Police Department Headquarters

The new facility will be double the square footage of the current UABPD headquarters and provide a state-of-the-art, functionally efficient workspace designed to accommodate continued growth.

police rendering 2017UAB President Ray Watts says the new facility will provide a state-of-the-art space for all police operations and room to accommodate continued growth of the department. University of Alabama at Birmingham officials broke ground today on a new two-story, 28,000-square-foot facility that will be the new UAB Police Department Headquarters.

The $8.2 million project, which is expected to take 15 months to complete, will be located in the 1100 block of 14th Street South, adjacent to the existing police headquarters building. Wyatt General Contractors, LLC, is the project’s contractor.

“This is an exciting day and an exciting time for us at the UAB Police Department,” said UAB Police Chief Anthony Purcell. “The men and women of our department love our university community — the students, faculty, staff, administration, and hospital employees and guests — that we strive to serve and protect with honor and integrity on a daily basis. The opportunity to upgrade our police headquarters with this striking and functionally efficient new building is greatly needed. We believe the new headquarters will enhance our ability to provide the support and service our community deserves.”

The ground floor will include a lobby area for public information and interaction with UAB police, a records storage area, evidence processing and evidence storage areas, patrol department staff offices, and an officer roll-call area. UAB Security Services staff offices, a breakroom, men’s and women’s locker rooms with showers, an in-house weight room, communication department staff offices, and a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week emergency call center also will be located on the ground floor.

UAB President Ray L. Watts says UABPD has outgrown its current headquarters, a 14,000-square-foot, reconfigured office building that was originally a credit union. Watts says the new facility will provide a state-of-the-art space for all police operations and room to accommodate continued growth of the department.

police groundbreaking 2017UAB President Ray Watts, UAB Police Chief Anthony Purcell and other officials break ground on the new, $8.2 million UAB Police Department Headquarters.“This campus spans 100 city blocks, and with more than 19,500 students and 23,000 employees, is a veritable city within a city,” Watts said. “A safe environment is our top priority because it makes the impactful work carried out by our students, faculty and staff possible, and we deeply appreciate the dedication and professionalism of Chief Purcell and all of our officers and staff for the outstanding work they do every day.”

The first-floor communication department will serve as a storm shelter for police department occupants and allow for continuous operation of the emergency call center during a severe or inclement weather event.

The second floor will house senior staff, administrative department, investigations department and training department staff offices. A conference room, breakroom and 1,500-square-foot training room for police department staff also will be on the second floor. UAB police officers will host public training courses in that room.

Construction commenced on the building in March. TurnerBatson Architects designed the facility, and Vice President for Financial Affairs and Administration Allen Bolton and Chief Facilities Officer Bob McMains have helped lead the project.