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Snellville breaks ground on new police HQ

Photo by Kristen Ralph

Photo by Kristen Ralph

SNELLVILLE -- Snellville dignitaries shoveled red clay Thursday morning where a state-of-the-art police headquarters could stand by next February.

The planned 30,000- square-foot Snellville Police Department on Wisteria Drive will nearly triple the footage of the current headquarters, a former Gwinnett Utilities building in a more residential pocket of town.

The project is designed to be added to and should last the department of 46 sworn officers for the next two decades, at least, said Snellville police Chief Roy Whitehead.

Land and building costs are about $7 million and will be paid with 2004 and 2009 SPLOST funding, Whitehead said. The brick building with a curved entryway will stand on the campus that also houses Snellville City Hall, allowing for both continuity and visibility, Whitehead said.

"It will be a catalyst for further development of the downtown center," he said.

Features will include a crime lab and evidence room, a communications section designed with room to expand and state-of-the-art training facilities, Whitehead said.

A rough completion date for the project is February.

Last week, Lawrenceville police unveiled an SPLOST-funded, $7.7 million headquarters near downtown Lawrenceville. The three-story, 72,000-square-feet structure is roughly six times the size of that department's current, outdated facility.

Lawrenceville police employ 72 officers and 21 civilian personnel.