City weighs more renovations of old fire houseOPD to use building

The Odessa City Council will consider funding another $614,000 for renovations to the former fire station behind the Odessa Police Department toward a new vehicle storage and training facility.
Construction crews are already working on a more than $1.35 million project to build out the vacant structure to house the SWAT, crime scene analysis vans, command trailer and an armored vehicle. That phase of the project is expected to wrap up in June.
The additional funding would add an elevator, stairs and a new entrance at the facility by about September. The same construction company, Seminole-based Fehr’s Metal Building Construction, would be awarded the contract after submitting the lowest bid.
Police spokesman Cpl. Steve LeSueur said the department’s Crime Scene Unit will use the building to process evidence. IT workers will be able to use the facility to work on computers in police cruisers. Vehicles that are today parked outside will be protected from the elements. And specialized units like the SWAT team will be able to meet inside.
“It’s going to play a huge role,” LeSueur said.
The council already set aside about $2 million for the project in the fiscal budget that began Oct. 1. After the second phase of improvements, nearly $30,000 would remain.
But the $2 million did not include the cost of finishing the interior of the building or landscaping, so police will likely ask the City Council for more funding later, said Phillip Urrutia, the city’s director of purchasing.
Ultimately, Chief Tim Burton said the department wants to use extra space the building will provide for training, education and some meetings. City officials outside the police department could use the building too, Burton said.
The building, at 203 N. Lincoln Ave., was constructed in 1950, and the city stopped using it as a fire station in 2009.
The end result of the latest project will be a unified police campus, Urrutia said.
“It’s a really big improvement for that area and it is going to encompass one whole city block that’s going to be renovated,” Urrutia said. “It adds to the downtown revitalization that the city is working on.”