The city of O’Fallon has officially cut the ribbon on its Justice Center, a $26 million facility that provides a new home for its police department and municipal court.
Public officials and residents gathered Dec. 2 for the building’s grand opening, which included a ribbon cutting and open house at the facility.
“I’ve been in public service here in O’Fallon for nearly 20 years, and I can honestly say that today is truly one of my proudest moments as an elected official,” Mayor Bill Hennessy said in his opening remarks.
The Justice Center, located along Bryan Road and south of Veterans Memorial Parkway, spans more than 96,000 square feet and provides significantly more space for the city’s police department as well as its first-ever dedicated municipal court facility. The police department and municipal court previously were headquartered at city hall.
The Justice Center project, which came in under budget, was financed by a bond issue and property tax increase approved by voters in April 2015. The city retained McCarthy last year to serve as construction manager for the new building.
The grand opening event allowed residents a chance to tour the new facility. The building includes spaces for evidence and records storage, 20,000 square feet of underground parking, more than a dozen holding cells, officer locker rooms and a basement that can serve as a storm shelter. It also includes a police training room, an indoor shooting range located in its basement and a firearms simulator that allows officers the ability to practice dealing with active shooter situations.
In his remarks, Hennessy highlighted two dedicated parking spots residents can use to complete internet sales from sites like Craigslist and eBay as well as the facility’s convenient location to all corners of the city.
“This new justice center provides a state of the art home for our police department and municipal court, and our city and our residents and our businesses will be safer because of it,” he said.
Police Chief Roy Joachimstaler thanked the scores of residents that turned out for the grand opening, and said a new police facility has been his department’s priority for the past five years. He recognized project manager Chris Clercx and O’Fallon Police Maj.r Kyle Kelley for their dedication to the project.
“Chris has been with us from the beginning and saw this project completion,” Joachimstaler said of Clercx. He described Kelley, the department’s assistant police chief, as “the mover and the shaker” on the project.
“He has been the one to keep us focused and keep it under our most important direction until it was completed. This is Kyle’s baby,” Joachimstaler said. “Without Kyle Kelly on this police department, I doubt that this building would be here now.”