Collingswood officials will hold a groundbreaking ceremony on January 9, 2020 at 10 a.m. for the Borough’s new Public Safety facility. The building will house both Collingswood’s Police and Fire Departments at 434 Haddon Avenue.
“It’s been a lot of work getting to this day and there is still a long way until we open the doors but it means so much to symbolically push this project to the next phase,” said Collingswood Mayor James Maley. “We have worked extremely closely as a municipal team to build something that will keep our community safe, give our first responders the tools they need and fit within the fabric of Collingswood.”
The facility will bring Collingswood’s first responders into the twenty-first century with desperately needed upgrades. The Borough’s current police and fire buildings are extremely outdated and do not meet modern police and fire standards or best practices.
The new $10.7 million, 30,000 square foot building is designed to reduce operation and maintenance costs for both police and fire, improve response times, provide better communication and efficiency for both departments, provide increased community visibility and improved accessibility for residents and provide shared, multi-purpose areas that can be used by PD and FD, which maximizes the facility’s use. It will prioritize green building options and includes features like a green roof and building systems’ efficiency measures as the Borough aims for LEED certification. It will also be home to Collingswood’s Office of Emergency Management with upgraded technology and communication equipment. Expected completion is early 2021.
“Our force has been doing extraordinary work in substandard conditions,” said Collingswood Police Chief Kevin Carey. “This new space will allow for improved policing and community relations and we are excited to be working so closely with our brothers and sisters in the Fire Department.”
Borough officials hosted several meetings over a yearlong period to inform residents regarding the need for the project, how it will be financed, provide updates and hear feedback. The visioning sessions included tours of current facilities and exercises to get input from residents about the building’s design. Officials anticipate taking on the cost of the project as old debt is retired to avoid any substantial tax increase to property owners.
“This project is a great example of how municipalities can work alongside residents to design a building together,” said Collingswood Commissioner Joan Leonard.
Representatives from the Borough, Camden County Improvement Authority, USA Architects, Epic Construction, Jingoli Project Management and others will be on hand to take ceremonial first scoops on the project site. The Borough is working with Collingswood schools to host a separate time-capsule ceremony on the site in the near future.
“This is an exciting project for the staff at the Fire Department. We are looking forward to having a facility that will fit our current and future operations and open new opportunities for expanding our services to the community,” said Collingswood Fire Chief Keith Davis.
See a fly through rendering of the building here.