Salt Lake City unveils design for new Public Safety Building

Published: Saturday, May 7 2011 11:58 p.m. MDT

Mayor Ralph Becker unveils the final design of the new Public Safety Building on Friday, May 6, 2011. The building will be net zero, producing as much energy as it uses.

Kristin Murphy, Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Calling it a "momentous" event and "milestone moment," Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker and other city leaders unveiled the design of the new Public Safety Building Friday.

"This building is really going to establish a new standard for public buildings in the state of Utah," Becker told a small crowd gathered at the Salt Lake City-County Building for the announcement.

The new building, which will house both the Salt Lake City Police and Fire departments, as well as the Emergency Operations Center, will be built across from the Salt Lake City Library on 300 East. The design compliments the architecture of the library and includes many windows for natural light.

Not only will the new Public Safety Building be the "most earthquake-proof building in the state," according to one official, but it will be one of the greenest buildings in Utah, using 30,000 feet of solar panels among other energy-saving measures.

"It's the first net-zero public safety building in the country," Becker said, meaning it will generate as much energy as it uses.

The idea was to not make the new building look like a "fortress," but rather more open and inviting to the public.

However, Salt Lake Police Chief Chris Burbank said it would also be secure and highly functional for law-enforcement purposes.

Earlier Friday, Burbank said he attended the funeral of a retired Salt Lake City Police officer who was the first K-9 officer in the city. Introducing the K-9 program changed the how law enforcers policed the city, he said.

"The (new) building is no less significant than that program was some 35 years ago," he said.

In 2009, Salt Lake voters approved a $125 million bond for construction of the new building. Friday, officials said the project was on budget, costing about $77 million for the building itself and just under $120 million to make it functional inside.

A groundbreaking is scheduled for June 1 and completion in May 2013.

E-mail: preavy@desnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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