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Construction on Bozeman's new public safety center continues, pandemic or not

Posted at 6:38 PM, Dec 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-10 12:26:48-05

BOZEMAN — Pandemic or not, the plans to build the new Bozeman Public Safety Center have not slowed down.

If you’ve passed the construction site over by the Gallatin County Fairgrounds off of Tamarack Street, you will now see a building taking shape.

Since the bond passed in the fall of 2018, the Public Safety Center has come far since then.

The construction started in August of this year.

The current state already includes future spaces for evidence and narcotic storage for the Bozeman City Police and more.

“Things are moving at the Public Safety Center site,” says Chuck Winn, Bozeman's assistant city manager.

Considering back in the fall of 2019 that the future home of the Bozeman Public Safety Center looked like around 12 dilapidated buildings, some with asbestos issues, this progress is enough to excite assistant city manager Chuck Winn.

“We have 65,000 feet of conduit pipe that is in the slabs behind me, 85 tons of rebar have been installed in the footings and the foundation walls and we’ve poured about 1,300 yards of concrete just in the foundation here,” Winn says, pointing to the progress on Wednesday.

Replacing 12 old, industrial buildings in the process and, as promised, reusing them.

“We were able to crush 4,500 yards of concrete that was here,” Winn says. “We’ve reused every bit of that here under the building and for the parking lot pads and then about 1,300 yards of concrete that we crushed was repurposed and recycled in what’s called geoperes.”

In other words, taking the old and using it strengthen the new.

“Almost everything that was here got reused in one way or another,” Winn says. “Very little was taken to the landfill and several of the buildings were reused. We were really happy about that.”

The 100,000 square foot facility is not only rebuilding a new Bozeman Fire Department, but it will also be replacing one completely, specifically Station 1 on Rouse Avenue in Downtown Bozeman.

You can see the shape of it even now, right down to the doors of the garage for future fire trucks.

“Instead of building it four times, we are going to build it once,” Winn says. “Instead of maintaining four different buildings, we are maintaining one building.”

From the police and fire departments to municipal courts, prosecution services and victim services, all departments will be in one spot.

The project is under budget, which was originally $36.4 million, and on schedule.

“Once it happens, it will happen quickly,” Winn says. “We gotta do it right.”

Now for those just driving by, in the next few weeks, there will be some more changes.

In particular, steel beams will be put up and you’ll see the beginning of the building as it rises.

The new safety center is expected to be complete with services moving into it by the end of April or the first part of May 2022.