Brookhaven opens new public safety building

Brookhaven officials recently celebrated the completion of a new public safety building with a ribbon-cutting ceremony as the transition of municipal court, police, and emergency management services into the new facility begins.

On July 28, Brookhaven officials gathered at the new public safety building, located on the Peachtree Creek Greenway at 1793 Briarwood Road, and discussed what makes the new facility – and its location – an important step forward for the city.

“One thing that is very important [for] a city is having a unique identity reflective of the community,” said Brookhaven Mayor Pro-Tem Linley Jones. “When we are renovating a park, or building a building such as this, it is important to do it in such a way that you can look at it and say ‘Wow – that’s Brookhaven.’”

Officials said construction of the facility was the city’s biggest capital project to date. During a groundbreaking ceremony as construction began back in 2019, officials said space has always been an issue for the city’s police department and municipal court.

“The 6,300-square-foot leased facility at 2665 Buford Highway only has 54 parking spaces for a police department with 85 employees and a busy municipal court,” officials stated during the groundbreaking ceremony. “The new building will be twice the size of the current building with over 33,000 square feet and room for 168 parking stations. The city’s first fully functional Emergency Operations Center will be housed in the building along with a full-building generator.”

In an opinion piece written for Rough Draft Atlanta, Brookhaven Councilman John Funny said the project was “a tall order” and that pandemic, supply shortages, and “the design of the largest geothermal project of its kind in the state of Georgia,” delayed the original 2022 goal of opening the facility.

But, according to Mayor John Ernst, the wait was worth it. “One of the things I’m most excited about is that this building has one of the largest geothermal systems in the Southeast,” he said. “It also was built with formaldehyde-free products and low-volatile organic compounds in the construction process. It’s the little things like this that save money over the long haul. We are saving money while we are saving the planet.”

The chosen location for the new facility was also intentional while the city “is planning for connectivity and safe alternative transit options,” according to officials.

“We are building out our sidewalks and multiuse paths so that families in Brookhaven, whether in Murphey Candler or LaVista Park, can safely bike or walk to the Public Safety Building or City Hall, and one day, the Atlanta Beltline,” said Brookhaven Councilman John Park.

While the transition into the new building has begun, due to previously scheduled municipal court dates in the existing location, full utilization for municipal court is expected by Sept. 30, according to Senior Municipal Court Judge Laura Stevenson.

“The information technology (department) has already moved in, and starting now we begin an orderly transition of the police department and emergency management into this facility, which is befitting of a first-class department and municipal court,” said city manager Christian Sigman.

For more information, visit brookhavenga.gov.

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One thought on “Brookhaven opens new public safety building

  • August 22, 2023 at 9:58 am
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    Unfortunately the article inadequately addressed the sizeable cost overuns (7.8 million over the original $14 million price tag) of Brookhaven mismanaging this project. And despite these mistakes, before the Public Safety building was near completion the City embarked on a White Elephant City Hall with a price tag of $78 million. To put that in context, Chamblee’s Award Winnning and recently completed City Hall cost $17 million. The focus of Brookhaven Officials should not be on building “Image” or “Ego” projects or awarding lavish contracts. In fact the City should have combined its City Hall with this Public Safety Building. City Hall’s peak hours are later in the day when public hearings are held and Public Safety is in the mornings on those days when there is Court. The Courtroom could serve as the Public Meeting room and the 168 parking spaces could have be shared instead of be empty most of the day. Brookhaven’s success rests largely on it carving out the lucrative areas of DeKalb, but that shouldn’t equate to a license to recklessly spend tax dollars.

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