Wheeling’s proposed public safety building takes another step forward

Community

The City of Wheeling could see police and fire headquarters under one roof If voters give the go-ahead for a new city Public Safety Building.

Renderings of the proposed Public Safety Building in Wheeling were released during the city council meeting on Tuesday evening. M and G Architects unveiled an artist’s conception of the new building at City Council’s regular meeting.  

The firm stressed they had seldom seen a police department for a city of Wheeling’s size in such a cramped space. A fire station would also have its base in the new building.

Council gave its go-ahead to fund the new building through a levy. Wheeling’s police and fire chiefs said the current buildings no longer fit tasks their departments do on a daily basis.

“The police department’s been there since before I was born, in the 1950s.  And I can assure you that, there was a — some square footage was, was talked about in there tonight, which is over 20-thousand dedicated to the police department.  We currently have about four thousand,” said Police Chief, Shawn Schwertfeger. 

Fire Chief, Larry Helms said, “When we were building stations, back when the vehicles were much smaller, the equipment that we had was much smaller, the things that we did as a fire department were different.  Those things have all changed, and we have to progress with that.”

Both police and fire chiefs believe Wheeling residents have a great deal of respect for the skill and expertise of their departments, but both realize the case for new quarters has to win approval from voters.

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