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445 days of construction coming to site near Lacey City Hall. What is it? A police station

Calling it a much needed facility, Lacey City Council voted unanimously on Thursday to award a $43.6 million construction contract to build a new police station.

The work begins next month on land across from City Hall and near Interstate 5 that was acquired from Saint Martin’s Abbey. Construction is expected to last just shy of two years at 22 months.

“This is a big project,” said City Manager Rick Walk, adding the city long ago identified there was a significant need for a new station.

The original station, which is next to City Hall, was built to accommodate 25 officers. Now, it is home to 97 employees, including 68 officers, and is only slightly larger than its original 15,000 square feet.

The council had a choice of lower-cost contracts to award on Thursday, but ultimately agreed with the staff recommendation to award a larger contract to Olympia-based Forma Construction. They will build a 48,000-square-foot structure with the following amenities: a firing range, a simulator and defensive tactics training room and classroom space.

The council agreed there was no reason to wait any longer.

“It only makes sense to go forward with the full project, including the training center,” said council member Lenny Greenstein, pointing out the city was likely to recoup some of its costs by having the state and other jurisdictions use the training space.

“There’s nothing like it in the area,” he said. “It makes good sense for us to do it now.”

Council member Robin Vazquez said the project is not going to get any cheaper.

“If we have the funding now, we should do it now,” she said.

The total cost, including the construction contract, is around $60 million. Those other costs are what is known as “soft” costs, such as what the city

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