Freemasons dedicate cornerstone for new Cape police headquarters
Cape Coral police officers will soon have a new home, thanks to the nearly-finished public safety building that stands across the street from City Hall, on the corner of Nicholas Parkway and Cultural Park Boulevard.
The building, which cost $21.6 million, was dedicated Thursday in a ceremony presided over by about 40 members of the Free and Accepted Masons of Cape Coral.
The pomp and ostentation of the ceremony, which included pouring wine over the cornerstone and certifying that the cornerstone was square and level, belied the fact that it took place on gravel — the building is not quite finished.
“There’s still some transition things to go on,” Cape Coral Police Chief Rob Petrovich said.
Petrovich said his officers will begin moving into the new headquarters in July, with the transition scheduled to be completed before the end of August. Communication operations will be among the first to make the move from the old building, and the entire move will be coordinated so as not to interrupt ongoing operations.
The new headquarters gives Petrovich more space — it has about 100,000 square feet, compared to the 38,400 square feet in the current building. The extra space will allow for more evidence storage, police lockers, showers and holding areas and will house an expanded forensics lab.
Another feature of the new building is its ability to withstand Category 5 hurricane-strength winds, up to150 mph.
“This building allows us to be here when the community needs us the most,” Petrovich said.
When the last box is moved into the new public safety building, it will mark the end result of the controversial project. Originally conceived as a $110 million building that would also house fire and emergency operations, voters rejected a bond to fund the project in a 2007 referendum.
Despite not actively being involved in the construction of the building, the Freemasons presided over the dedication ceremony.
“Historically, not just in this country but in other countries, the Masons traditionally lay the cornerstone of public buildings,” said Robert Carter, master of the Cape Coral Lodge.