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First walls go up on long-awaited new headquarters for Cape police

By Staff | Dec 9, 2008
MICHAEL PISTELLA The first walls of the Cape Coral Police Department’s new headquarters were lifted Tuesday.
Workers maneuver the wall into its proper place on the foundation. The construction site is located adjacent to Cape Coral City Hall at Cultural Park Boulevard and Nicholas Parkway.

The new Cape Coral police headquarters took a 58-foot, three-story leap toward its completion as the first wall of the building was raised at approximately 2 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, despite several technical issues with construction machinery that almost saw the project delayed.
The first of about 94 massive wall panels, weighing in at approximately 100 tons, was one of three elevator shaft walls which onlookers saw raised with the aid of 15 to 18 workers placing, erecting and bracing the panel, and a 240-ton crane raising it from the ground.
The erection of the walls was originally set to begin Tuesday at 8 a.m., but was cancelled and rescheduled several times due to a technical error with the crane.
“There was an electronic connection that tells the crane it’s operating in an unsafe manner, and that connection had to be corrected so the computer inside the crane knew it was operating correctly,” said Dennis Lemons, a project manager with Balfour Beatty Construction.
Lemons said safety is a primary issue on the building site, though the issue with the crane was corrected.
Wind is also a variable with lifting the walls, but was not an issue Tuesday, he said.
Cape Coral Police Chief Rob Petrovich and Deputy Chief Jay Murphy visited the construction site Tuesday to watch the first walls go up of their soon-to-be 100,000-square-foot, $19 million home, which is slated to be completed in July.
“I’m very excited about it,” Petrovich said. “This isn’t something we started yesterday. It’s been years since this has been in the making, so to finally see it come to fruition is certainly something that we’ve all been waiting for. I’m very happy, and very excited about it.”
It will take Balfour Beatty an estimated six days to lift the wall panels, after which it will begin working on its way down from the third floor to the foundation, Lemons said.
The headquarters will replace the current public safety building, currently shared by the police and fire Departments at 815 Nicholas Parkway. It will offer a centralized command including records, evidence, communications, patrol and administrative offices and other department necessities.