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Crews are moving dirt at what will be the new home for the Oregon State Police La Grande Area Command Office. OSP officials say they hope to be in the new building by 2014. (Chris Baxter/The Observer)
Oregon State Police set to build new station in La Grande Business Park before 2014
The Oregon State Police will soon have a new home in La Grande.
The La Grande Area Command staff hopes to be moving into a new station located in the La Grande Business Park by the end of the year.
Crews broke ground Aug. 7 on the new station, located at 3004 Blue Mountain Drive, with hopes that it will be finished before 2014.
Lt. Gordon Larson, the La Grande area commander, said OSP enjoys a great relationship with the Oregon Department of Transportation, which has housed OSP. However, the current space is not big enough for the police.
“We simply outgrew our facility many years ago and have been waiting for space that would fit our needs,” Larson said.
The state police do not have private restrooms or locker rooms in their current location, Larson said.
The new building is estimated to cost $2.4 million, though OSP will be leasing it. OSP does not have capital money to build its own structures, said Randy Hinrichson, OSP facilities project manager.
Hinrichson said the new building is unique for a few reasons.
For one, the new station will also house a shop for “police vehicles, evidence, fish and wildlife vehicles,” Hinrichson said. The shop will be shared with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
“Another (aspect) I think is kind of cool about this is…our La Grande facility will feature a vertical gate,” Hinrichson said. “It will be reliable.”
OSP sometimes has problems with typical gates during winter that freeze up. Since this gate will open by going up, OSP hopes to avoid maintenance and damage during winter months.
Another interesting part of the building, Hinrichson said, is the roof, which will be made of metal.
“It turns out there’s an electrical benefit to having an antenna on a metal roof,” he said.
Since metal conducts electricity, the roof will form a ground plane and enhance the performance of the antenna.
“This is going to enhance the look of the industrial park,” Hinrichson said. “It’s an attractive, quality-looking building and design that I think folks will like the look of when it’s completed.”
The lease on the property starts on a 10-year term. Hinrichson said the private contractor building the new station is out of Eugene and that subcontractors will likely be found locally, though they are subject to public bidding laws.
Larson said the La Grande group has been waiting for years to get a new station.
“We are excited about the new facility and anticipate it meeting our needs for many years,” he said.
OSP’s new station is being built on Lots 17 and 18 of the La Grande Business Park.
Union County Economic Development Corporation Director Dan Stark said the OSP station will be a good addition to the business park, which has been slow in developing since it opened several years ago.
“That fits the business park and the image we want to have,” Stark said.
Stark said he is already seeing an uptick in interest in the park.
“(The addition of the OSP offices) will only help that interest,” he said.