• Woodford Sun Staff

Work progressing on new Versailles Police Station

CONSTRUCTION WORKERS were scheduled last week to pour concrete footers for the foundation of a new two-story Versailles Police Station being built at the corner of North Main and Elm streets. (Photo by Bob Vlach)By Bob Vlach

Construction crews were busy last week on the North Main Street site where a new Versailles Police Station will likely open next summer.

The $5 million project began in May and will likely take about 15 months to complete, according to Versailles Mayor Brian Traugott.

Because of the grade of the land that St. Leo School formerly occupied, the new police station’s first floor will be partially underground,

Traugott said last Friday. He had just met with the project’s construction manager a day earlier and was told efforts are ongoing to locate a time capsule buried by former St. Leo students. “They hadn’t found it,” he said, “but I think there’s a spot they’re zeroing-in on.”

While police officers will not occupy their new station for another year or so, Traugott said, “It’s been good for morale within the department. That’s for sure.” A new police station will also help with officer recruitment, he added.

Traugott said the new Versailles Police Station will offer an “architecturally-pleasing building when you come into downtown.”

The new station will feature a community room (accessible to the public), a fitness facility for law enforcement officers and a self-contained/secure dispatch center, which Traugott described as “one of the great operational” aspects of having a state-of-the-art police station.

“In the event of an emergency,” said Traugott, “that (dispatch center) is the most important aspect (of the station). That is what adds to the cost over a normal building – an F5 tornado couldn’t tear down that portion of the building.” Traugott said moving out of the current Court Street location will create more public parking in downtown Versailles around the Woodford County Courthouse, but said informal talks about repurposing the police station for other uses “have led nowhere.” And because he’s become “less and less confident” about the marketability of the building for a private use, he said, “I think we’re going to probably explore a public use – not necessarily the city, but something where we could unload the property for the public good without worrying about maximizing profit.”

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