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Large Crowd Participates in Groundbreaking as Construction Begins

Be sure to read the story that comes after the slideshow of images below. (Can’t get enough? See even more images of the Groundbreaking event on the Kansas City Missouri Police Department’s Facebook page.)

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Hundreds gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony on Nov. 19, 2013 and heard from officials about the $74 million project that will transform 17 acres on Prospect Avenue into the largest public safety campus in Kansas City, Missouri.

“This new campus will feature a police division station, a state-of-the-art crime lab, and a property and evidence depository, and these new facilities will replace our outdated buildings,” said Police Chief Darryl Forté.

“The new East Patrol Station will be accessible to the community by foot, car and public transit, and it will accommodate the present and future needs of the East Patrol Division, and the new building also will include a computer lab and community conference room for public use,” said Mayor Sylvester “Sly” James, who led the speakers at the groundbreaking. “The new Crime Lab will be much larger, allowing for more employees who in turn can process evidence more quickly.”

Designed by Helix Architecture + Design in association with Wellner Architects, with construction managed by JE Dunn/Alexander Mechanical, A Joint Venture, the project is governed by HUD Section 3 guidelines. That means to the greatest extent possible, the project provides job and contract opportunities to low-income residents and businesses in the community. Nearly two dozen minority, women, or Section 3 businesses were included in the design phase. Additional low-income and small business contractors will assist with the construction phase.

“This project will provide area beautification, increased resources for public safety, and economic benefits to the surrounding community,” Third District Councilmember Jermaine Reed said. “For too long, Prospect Avenue has carried with it a negative connotation to the citizens of Kansas City. Now, because of this strategic investment, we will begin to change the negative perception.”

Third District at-Large Councilmember Melba Curls said construction workers will be in the area for the next two years the project. “The project team is working collectively with neighborhood leaders to identify opportunities for development and improvements in the area surrounding the new campus.”

Other speakers included Councilmember John A Sharp, KCPD Board of Police Commissioners President Alvin Brooks, and an invocation by the Reverend John Modest Miles. Many attendees were from the surrounding neighborhoods, including a 94-year-old woman who brought her great-grandson. Four-year-old John was most interested in the artwork produced by students at the nearby ArtsTech, and the cookies from M&M Bakery.

Area Youth Turn Construction Signs and Information Trailer into Art

The bright designs on the Information Trailer stationed near 26th Street and Prospect Avenue are courtesy of a collaboration with ArtsTech, a center for youth enterprise at 1522 Holmes. The colorful panels attached to construction site fencing pay tribute to neighborhood and community groups in the surrounding area. Students at ArtsTech learn the “Art of Making a Living” through hands-on projects such as this one and take great pride in their work. Thank you, ArtsTech!