St. Bernard Sheriff's Office breaks ground on sub-station building
Ground-breaking ceremony (SBPSO)
Sub-station rendering (SBPSO)
FOX 8 received the following news release from the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Office:
Ground-breaking ceremonies were held Friday, July 26 on the long-awaited St. Bernard Sheriff's Office sub-station replacement building on St. Claude Avenue at the parish line in Arabi, a project that coupled with a future sub-station on West Judge Perez Drive in Arabi could aid crime prevention, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.
"We are excited. This is an important day for us,'' Sheriff Pohlmann told a crowd which included sheriff's employees, representatives of FEMA - which is funding the work – and the contracting, engineering and architecture firms doing the job.
Completion date is estimated to be the Spring of 2014. ICON Construction Group of Jefferson Parish is building the structure.
The Sheriff's Office is glad to get moving on replacing two sub-stations that stood at the parish lines of New Orleans, next to the Jackson Barracks National Guard base, prior to Hurricane Katrina, the sheriff said.
When built by then-Sheriff Jack Stephens in the 1990s, the sub-stations served as the quarters of the detective and patrol divisions.
The St. Claude station will again house detectives from the Criminal Investigation Bureau and the Juvenile Division, as well as crime scene investigations. But Sheriff Pohlmann said the sub-stations also were a psychological deterrent to criminals from outside St. Bernard who could see police were there and would know if they committed crime they would have to leave the parish past those stations.
"I know it worked as a crime prevention measure,'' Sheriff Pohlmann said. "It still has that potential and could be essential for us.''
The St. Claude building will be the first structure in St. Bernard someone would see as they enter the parish on St. Claude Avenue and will be on part of the ground where the first sheriff's sub-station was built. The lots it will stand on used to be the sites of two buildings, one which was a bank and later the business, Hair Tech, and the other the old H & R Block building
The sub-station on St. Claude will be a 8,200 square-foot, multi-story building to cost about $2.15 million, paid by FEMA as a replacement for the building there before Hurricane Katrina. It will be 65 feet wide and 57 feet deep.
The Sheriff's Office hopes to soon begin a second sub-station on West Judge Perez Drive near the parish line and built its own sub-station on Paris Road near the boundary with New Orleans, all paid by FEMA. "We need to make sure we spend every dollar wisely,'' the sheriff said. There is currently a leased building on Paris Road serving as a sub-station that will be vacated.
Sheriff Pohlmann thanked FEMA, the Governor's Office for Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, or GOHSEP, and officials of CDM Smith Inc., which handled the project, while working with FEMA and the Sheriff's Office. Susan O'Brien and Jenny Campora, both of FEMA, were present at the ceremony. Program Manager Douglas Landry was there from CDM Smith Inc., as well as CDM Project Manager Drayfus Guient and Matthew Erchull, recovery administrator for the company.
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