PARK CITY It has the feel of a cozy ski lodge, not a heavily fortified police station.
Large windows invite in the sun while providing scenic views of the ski slopes. The brick walls, timber beams and high ceilings offer a welcoming environment to a place that is traditionally unwelcoming.
The Park City Police Department's new headquarters also boasts of being one of the most environmentally friendly public buildings in this resort town.
"It's not only a green building but an aesthetically pleasing building," Park City Police Chief Lloyd Evans Sr. said as he led a Deseret Morning News reporter and photographer on a tour of the new facility on Wednesday.
"Building a cinder-block bunker on the front door of Park City was not going to work. When you start balancing the security needs of this building, the emergency response needs of this building, aesthetically pleasing along with a green element, we had what I consider a significant challenge."
On Friday and Saturday, the police department will open its building up for community tours to show off its new headquarters.
For years, the Park City Police Department has operated out of a series of cop-shops scattered around town. When it came time to build a new police station, the City Council approved spending more money than anticipated to create an eco-friendly facility.
"I think it's wonderful. It's the epitome of where we're going as a city," Park City Mayor Dana Williams said Wednesday. "This is our future, and we're the ones who should be setting the example."
The $7 million police headquarters is not only eco-friendly but in the long run could save on utility bills. A geothermal heating and cooling system has been installed to reduce energy costs.
"We take water and run it through those 26 wells and it picks up the heat of the ground," Evans said. "We're now using the natural heat of the Earth to help us save energy in distributing heat in the winter and cooler air in the summer."
The building was constructed with a number of other eco-friendly features, including:
• Locally harvested timber.
• A white roof to reflect the sun's heat to keep the building cool in the summer. Concrete parking lots in contrast to asphalt also help deflect heat.
• Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and motion sensor lighting to cut down on electricity use.
• Low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators reduce the amount of water being wasted.
• Rainwater flows off the building into a dry riverbed nearby and back into the groundwater.
The facility also has many public safety requirements, such as earthquake protection and security features.
"That in and of itself tripled the material that went into this building," Evans said.
The police department is fortified with concrete walls covered with a brick facade. On Wednesday, construction workers were seen installing plastic sheeting to the windows to help make them shatter-proof.
The new police headquarters has room to grow and is already anticipating the needs of a growing community. In the basement, a lab is being installed to do fingerprint identification and limited drug evidence processing, which could cut delays in waiting for the state crime lab.
The offices, interview rooms and the 911 dispatch center have ample room to grow.
"What's not to like?" Park City Police Capt. Phil Kirk said. "It's state-of-the-art. We love it."
The Park City Police Department was recently stuffed in City Hall on Marsac Avenue. Its Main Street office recently closed because the museum it was located in is expanding.
"We didn't want to leave, they kicked us out," Evans chuckled.
The new police station is built to accommodate growth for the next 20 years. By 2028, Evans envisions the police department will have 56 sworn officers and will need to expand its facility again. By that time, he would like to see a substation in Deer Valley.
As he walks through the building, Evans is excited.
"We have a space here that is functional, that is up-to-date; we are prepared and we are here to provide service to the community," he said.
He's also proud of the green facility he now manages. Before the new building, Evans said the extent of his green initiative was crushing soda pop cans and putting them in a recycling bin.
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