SUNY Oneonta plans new police building

State University College at OneontaAn area of proposed construction for a new university police department and Otsego County Law Enforcement Academy is seen in this provided map. 

SUNY Oneonta on Friday announced plans to construct an emergency services building on campus.

The new facility will house the University Police Department, campus Emergency Management staff and the Otsego County Law Enforcement Academy, according to a media release by SUNY Oneonta.

The University Police Department and the Otsego County Law Enforcement Academy are among several units in Alumni Hall, which was the college's first library, said Hal Legg, chief communication and marketing officer at SUNY Oneonta to The Daily Star on Monday. The college has been relocating some of these offices over the last few years to make room for the School of Economics and Business, and make it so the Division of College Advancement can be consolidated in one building, according to the release.

“Excitement is really building around this building," said Wade Thomas, dean of the School of Economics and Business, in an email sent to The Daily Star. "Establishing a home for Economics and Business, one with its particular needs in mind, is a significant strategic objective of the school and the college. New facilities will provide for expansion, reinforce the quality of our programs and support future educational initiatives in our disciplines.” 

The college determined that a specific facility would be built for law enforcement, which is specialized work by nature, Legg said.

“The University Police Department is benefiting from the college’s thoughtful, long-range facilities planning," said Jennifer Fila, chief of the University Police Department, in an email sent to The Daily Star. "A building designed around our work, which is a bit different than that of academic departments and other campus offices, will create a better situation for both the police and the academy. It will also allow the college to make better use of Alumni Hall.”

The one-story facility will be 9,000 square feet and will be located at the southern edge of the college's campus in the City of Oneonta, according to the release. The estimated cost of the new building is $6 million. A start date hasn't been set yet, but the college expects to break ground on the project later this year. Construction is expected to last about 14 months.

The new building will feature "enhanced envelope thermal performance, air source heat pump and radiant panel heat technology, with the remaining electrical consumption provided by purchased or locally generated renewable energy," according to the release. It will also be the first “NetZero capable” building constructed in the SUNY system, in accordance with SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson’s goals of lowering energy consumption and reducing greenhouse gas emissions and energy costs. 

The completed building will not add to the carbon footprint of the campus and the college won't need to rely on fossil fuels to power it, according to Lachlan Squair, chief facilities planning and safety officer at SUNY Oneonta, in an email sent to The Daily Star. 

Shweta Karikehalli, staff writer, can be reached at skarikehalli@thedailystar.com or 607-441-7221. Follow her @DS_ShwetaK on Twitter.

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