SARTELL -- Sartell officials broke ground on their new police and fire station Tuesday afternoon.

The new 45,000 square-foot Public Safety Facility has been in the works for several years as the departments have outgrown their current space.

The facility will provide additional storage space, training rooms, locker rooms, fire truck bay and squad car garage and enough land for future expansions.

Police Chief Jim Hughes says one of the key features for the police side is a new booking area.

It's an area where we can bring suspects who are in custody and interview them and hold them. Currently we don't have that capacity, we have to put an officer in front of each door a suspect is in. This will allow us to have cells inside where we can hold suspects for a short period of time.

Hughes says it was important to have both departments in one location as they work closely with each other.

He says as for their current location that will be up to the city council to decide.

I know we've had someone come through an evaluate the buildings. It will be up to the city in the end but I know Public Works is already out of room and would like to use some of the fire department to store some of their equipment.

Construction on the roughly $13-million facility is currently underway and if all goes well will be ready by next July.

The new Public Safety Facility will be just north of the Heritage Drive roundabout along Pinecone Road, just south of Walgreens.

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(Photo: HMA Architects)