City officials celebrated the dedication of the new Billie A. Hall Public Safety Center October 1.
Voters approved an extension of a portion of the Vision 2025 tax in October of 2015 to build the new public safety facility, which includes new police headquarters, a fire station, training areas and a municipal jail. The facility is at 602 W. Morrow Road.
As part of the dedication, city officials recognized members of the Billie A. Hall American Legion Post 17, which is also named for the Vietnam War-era Staff Sergeant, the construction manager for the project, Crossland Construction, Dewberry Architects and Zach Johnson and James Tilton from OmniTRAX, with whom the city entered into a purchase agreement for the property, as well as members of the sales tax and GO bond committees and Sand Springs Chamber. Hall’s widow, Janice, also attended the dedication.
“(Billie Hall) represents the virtues that we want to see in our police and firefighters…I believe this building also represents our public’s trust in the vote of confidence by our public in the funding of (the building),” Police Chief Mike Carter said. “I also want to thank OmniTRAX. This was not the original site that was proposed for the building…they sold us this property for what we could afford to pay and it saved the taxpayers dollars and it put us where we need to be to respond to police and fire emergencies.”
Fire Chief Mike Wood said the new facility is a big improvement for the fire department, too.
“This facility is a game changer for the Sand Springs Fire Department,” Wood said. “What it gives us more than anything is the space to do what we need to do safely. It gives us the resources to do what we’ve tried to down there (downtown)…for 106 years and we just outgrew that. We’ve got space out here now to not be out in an alley trying to train, test hose, all the things we have to do.”
OmniTRAX CEO Kevin Shuba attended and thanked the city for the partnership.
“They’ve been a tremendous partner for us since we acquired the Sand Springs Railway in 2014,” Shuba said. “From a business standpoint, our business has tripled (since 2014)…and that’s really because of the growth that we see in this community and the tremendous support we’ve got from the community.”
Shuba said they purchased the old Sheffield Crossing property in 2016 and he’s happy to see the facility in the property now.
“It’s very pro growth here and it’s a great place for us to be invested,” he said. “As a veteran myself (with) a company that hires many veterans, we’re really proud to be part of the Billie A. Hall Public Safety Center.”
City Manager Elizabeth Gray helped close the dedication by thanking Carter, Wood and citizens.
“I can’t echo the thanks enough that you’ve heard from Mike Carter and Chief Wood to our citizens especially voting this huge vote of confidence for us,” Gray said.
Wood said there will also be an open house for the public October 25.