Project Feature | Huntington Police Department: New building provides long overdue space for serving the community

For more than a century, the Huntington Police Department based their operations out of the Huntington City Building, even as the staff grew from seven officers to 35. The limited functionality of their previous location resulted in several challenges, from privacy concerns due to space shared with other city functions to a lack of ventilation in storage areas.

“We were crammed into different areas of the building, it didn’t flow well, and it wasn’t friendly for the community,” said Police Chief Chad Hacker. “A big turning point was when we had to put drug testing in the same area as the officers sitting at their computers to write reports.”

After deciding to build a new facility, the department selected The Hagerman Group as construction manager as constructor for the project and Barton-Coe-Vilamaa Architects & Engineers as the architect.

“From the day we interviewed, we felt like it was going to be a great partnership,” said Brad Smith, executive vice president, The Hagerman Group. “We started to see that trust and partnership come to fruition in a short period of time.”

Turning ideas into reality

To help the Huntington Police Department decide what they wanted in their new facility, The Hagerman Group recommended they tour the recently completed Fishers Police Station.

“We were able to get a firsthand account of their new facility and talk with them about things they liked or would have done a bit differently,” Chief Hacker said.

As the Huntington project moved forward, the CMc project delivery method proved beneficial when the team was working through the budget. Hagerman led a value analysis process, providing the police department with cost-effective solutions that gave them the results they wanted in their new building.

“The market intelligence and information on how to construct the building differently yielded a great outcome that ultimately ended up saving the owner money,” Brad said.

“It was an asset to have The Hagerman Group on board as construction manager,” said Aimee Sanchez, AIA, architect, Barton-Coe-Vilamaa Architects & Engineers. “Hagerman was great to work with and helped keep the project on track, on budget, and on schedule.”

A spirit of partnership

After successfully navigating complexities like the tight jobsite, the project team had another challenge to overcome: the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We were about three-fourths of the way done with construction when the pandemic started,” said Sam Grotrian, project superintendent, The Hagerman Group. “The biggest challenge was just the learning curve on how to maintain distances when maneuvering around the jobsite. We kept working and made sure everyone was doing their part.”

When obtaining materials became a challenge, the partnership between Hagerman, Barton-Coe-Vilamaa, and the police department once again came into play.

“Everyone was understanding with the few complications we had,” Sam said. “We got materials as soon as we could and still finished on time. All in all, it ran smoothly and that’s due to the relationships we had with the architect, owner, and subcontractors who all stepped up to the plate.”

“I have nothing but praise for the Hagerman team,” Chief Hacker said. “Everything they told us they were going to do, they delivered on, and then some.”

A dramatic difference

The new, 17,260-square-foot structure brings police officers and detectives under one roof with spaces and features that create a positive working environment for the department and a welcoming facility for the community. 

“It’s amazing how we started with just a blank sheet of paper to outline our wants and needs. Having it all come together is a dream come true,” Chief Hacker said. “Our officers are thrilled with the new building. They have plenty of room to do reports, conduct interviews, and an area where they can take a break. There’s competition out there when trying to find police officers. This building will help us recruit the best of the best and hopefully keep them here. It’s for our community, as well, and will help us serve Huntington better, for many years to come.”

“The officers really needed this new facility, and it felt like we were really serving the community with this project,” Aimee said. “It was good for the community, good for the officers—just a good project all around.”

“As I got to know the chief and the officers, there really seemed to be a tight connection with the community and a forward-thinking approach to policing,” Brad said. “For those folks to come to work in a brand-new facility will only heighten the level of service they provide to their city.”

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