Reno Public Safety Center making ‘strong’ progress

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It may not look like much from the outside, but Director of Public Works Kerrie Koski says big things are happening inside Reno’s under-construction Public Safety Center at 911 Kuenzli St.

His team describes the project as exciting and strong — literally.

“(Right now) we are working on foundations and structural improvements,” Koski said. “Essentially what we’re doing is adding strength to the building.”

This involves demolishing the interior, adding reinforcing steel and creating footings for the building, she said.

When the city launched the project in 2021, the total cost was estimated to be around $34.5 million, not including the $7 million agreement to purchase the building. Before the city purchased the building, it housed the Reno Gazette Journal for more than four decades.

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The Public Safety Center is under construction in Reno on September 16, 2022. The building is the former site of the Reno Gazette Journal.

Koski said Phase 1 will be completed in the spring of 2023 and has so far cost the city $20 million. She is still awaiting cost estimates for Phase 2.

“Phase 2 is basically everything else. All interior, walls and exterior,” she said. “Everything that makes a building a building.”

She and her team believe that by buying and repurposing the building, instead of building a new facility from scratch, the city saved $15-20 million on the new security center.

Even better, it will be a big step up from the existing police station at 455 E. Second St., Koski said. The size of the building will better accommodate law enforcement and guests.

“The footprint of the building itself is about a third the size of a football field,” she said. “This will give us the opportunity to provide services such as mobile outreach security teams, our senior volunteer auxiliary effort, victim assistance services.”

There will be more on-site parking and more comfortable spaces for victims who need to visit police, Koski said.

“We’re going to make that happen,” she added. “It’s exciting. It really is. It’s a lot of work.

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