Price Tag Halts Regional Training Center Construction

By: Lily Wu - Email
By: Lily Wu - Email

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Friday, July 19, 2013

Construction for a joint law enforcement training center remains at a halt because of the $30 million price tag.

"The city is 100-percent committed to this," said Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer.

Plans for the $101 million dollar project, near K-96 and I-135, included commitments from the Kansas Army National Guard, Sedgwick County, and City of Wichita.

Since the initial plans, the city and county have spent $3.4 million for infrastructure to the Heartland Preparedness Center.

The Center would include a $30 million joint law enforcement training center for Wichita Police and Sedgwick County Sheriff's officers.

"There's an interest in co-locating together but it's the county's position that the cost of the project needs to come down," said Sedgwick County Commission Chairman Jim Skelton.

Skelton and Brewer both agreed with Sheriff Jeff Easter on the importance of officers continuing to train together.

"We respond together so we need to train together, so we're not separate when it comes to those type of calls," said Easter.

There city and county have been training together at a former school near 37th and Meridian, but the facility is in need of many repairs.

On July 29, the Sheriff, Chief of Police, and other committee members will continue their discussion on the law enforcement training center.

The Kansas National Guard continues to construct their portion of $68 million for the Heartland Preparedness Center. They expect to move into the armory in the next couple of months.

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