The San Luis Obispo Police Department is looking to expand with a new building.
The current police station is 52 years old and according to the San Luis Obispo Director of Public Works, Matt Horn, the building is outdated and in need of major upgrades.
“The existing police station is 52 years old, undersized, it’s not seismically capable of withstanding a larger event, so we need this structure to serve the community before and after a natural disaster. If that happened now, this structure would not be standing," said Horn.
The proposed project is being called the Public Safety Center and would allow for an increase of 17,000 square feet, an emergency operations center, and a new parking structure to increase parking availability for the community.
According to Horn, in 2020, San Luis Obispo voters approved a local sales tax measure that would fund this project, currently estimated to cost $52 million.
"There is many things that drive construction costs. So that is the scope of your project - materials supplies, and contractor availability," said Horn.
However, some members of the community are not happy about this project. The Democratic Socialists of America San Luis Obispo chapter has started a petition against it.
The online petition states, …we do not believe spending over $50 million on a new SLOPD station best serves our community. these funds would be better spent directly serving the needs of the community during this unprecedented time.”
But some community members think the upgrade is necessary.
“The police department is a great pillar in the community and they do deserve an upgrade in their facility in terms of it being an older building," said Nick Novak, San Luis Obispo resident.
When asked about relocating resources, Horn said that through public engagement, the community has shown an interest in moving forward.
“The community has responded and included this in our budget and so we are moving forward with this project," said Horn.
The plans are not set in stone and Horn said the city is going to hold public meetings for community members to provide input.
As the project progresses, community members are encouraged to visit the slocity.org website for more information about public meetings and to stay up to date with the project.
Construction is estimated to start in 2025.