Plans move ahead to build new North Precinct police station

Residents who fall into the Seattle Police Department’s North Precinct, which includes the Ballard area, may soon see a new police station.

According to the city of Seattle, the existing North Precinct Police Station, built in 1984 to house 154 staff and now home to 254, is badly overcrowded and there is not enough space available to adequately expand it on its current site.

Now, Mayor Mike McGinn and the City Council are accelerating the process to create a new station.

In September 2012, as part of the budgeting process, Mayor Mike McGinn proposed doing the planning required in 2013 to acquire land for a new station in 2014. The City Council accepted the Mayor's proposal and accelerated the schedule by moving funding from 2014 to 2013 to support activities related to planning and site acquisition.

The Department of Finance and Administrative Services’ 2013-2014 budget includes $18.3 million to pay for site selection, due diligence and land acquisition for a new facility. It will be covered largely by long-term general obligation bonds. The city does not yet have a firm estimate for what it will cost to build the new facility and a funding source beyond 2014 will be identified in the 2015/2016 budget process.

Work is now under way to find and purchase a site for a new station by December 2013, as well as assemble an architecture and engineering team so building predesign can begin this year, instead of waiting for purchase of an actual site.

The preliminary plans for a new North Precinct Station, which will be reviewed and confirmed during predesign, call for:

  • A 60,000+ square foot building with a useful life of 30 to 50 years that will accommodate up to 370 officers and civilian staff.
  • A building constructed to essential facility standards capable of withstanding an earthquake load higher than most buildings. These design specifications affect most components of a building to ensure an essential facility remains operable after an earthquake.
  • Community meeting space that also can be used as an operations center in case of a disaster.
  • On-site, multistory parking for patrol cars, visitors and staff.
  • A location that offers good access to I-5, north-south and east-west arterials, proximity to areas of high police activity, and quality radio reception.

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