Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly today announced the start of construction on a 21st century Police Academy to train the next generation of New York's Finest. The new Police Academy, located in the College Point section of Queens at the former NYPD Auto Pound, will consolidate training facilities for civilians, recruits and active police officers that are currently spread out across the City into one state-of-the-art campus. Construction began today on the first phase of the project, which includes an academic building, classrooms, tactical gyms that simulate actual street conditions, instructional offices and administrative support spaces. Subsequent phases of the project will include a new firing range, a tactical training village and a vehicle training course. The Mayor and the Police Commissioner were joined at the announcement by Deputy Mayor for Operations Edward Skyler; Commissioner David J. Burney of the Department of Design and Construction, the City agency overseeing the facility's the construction; Queens Borough President Helen Marshall and City Council Public Safety Committee Chair Peter Vallone, Jr.
“This is a fitting way to begin closing out a banner year for the NYPD - reducing crime another 10.4 percent and keeping us the nation's safest big city,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “This is a project that has started and stalled through three previous City administrations and now it is getting built. The new academy will vastly improve the officer training that goes into making the NYPD the world's greatest and most advanced police department by providing a state-of-the-art facility that can serve the Department's 21st century needs.”
“As the Police Department has grown, so have the complexities of our mission,” said Police Commissioner Kelly. The new Police Academy will serve as an instruction site for generations of police officers, traffic agents and school safety agents, and includes advanced technology to enhance the world-class training already being provided by the Department. New York City police officers have driven crime down year after year. They deserve a Police Academy equal to their accomplishments and dedication.
“Identifying an accessible and affordable 30-acre site were only a few of the challenges and showed why previous administrations had such difficulty in getting this vital public safety investment off the ground,” said Deputy Mayor Skyler. “It also required working closely with local elected officials and community members to mitigate any impacts associated with a facility that serves our 50,000-person police department. By working with the community, we were able to develop a comprehensive plan and the project now has widespread support.”
“The world's finest police department needs the world's finest training facilities and DDC is proud to be working with our colleagues in public service and the best design and construction professionals to make this a training campus second to none,' said Design and Construction Commissioner David J. Burney, FAIA. "This project will demonstrate our commitment to architectural excellence and will be one of the largest environmentally sustainable projects in New York City.”
“I am delighted to join Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Kelly as we break ground today for a new, state-of-the-art Police Academy that will provide facilities for training police officers who have to deal with some of the most challenging and diverse situations in the greatest city in the world," said Borough President Marshall. "Our police officers continue to be our first line of defense as we combat crime and subversive activities. Here in Queens, we are proud to be the new home of this academy. In addition to providing an increased police presence in this community, it will create construction and permanent jobs, while increasing local business activity and growth. We bid a fond welcome to all police officers to their new home!”
“I'd like to thank the NYPD for working with the community and the City Council to make this groundbreaking a reality,” Council Member Vallone. “The new academy will lead to a better trained police force, which makes our police, and our communities, safer.”
The NYPD currently conducts training in numerous facilities scattered throughout the City. The main facility, the Police Academy, located on East 20th Street in Manhattan, was built in 1964 and is an overcrowded and outdated facility, unable to meet the needs of today's Department. It was intended for a department half of the size of the current force. For example, the Firearms and Tactics Section is located at Rodman's Neck in the Bronx, while the driver training field where the Emergency Vehicle Operations Course is taught is located at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn. The new facility will consolidate all NYPD training facilities at one location, creating a police training campus that can handle volume of recruits trained each year and meet the Department's highly advanced technological needs.
Once fully completed, the new Police Academy will sit on a 30-acre campus and be able to train approximately 2,000 recruits at any one time. It will feature instruction space for providing immersive, scenario based training for police personnel; support and administration buildings; a field house; indoor shooting ranges; a tactical village; a housing facility for visiting instructors; driver training fields; parking and a utility plant. The facilities will be designed for in-service training of officers, as well as for recruit training.
The project was designed with community concerns at the forefront of the planning process. The location is isolated from residential streets, reducing any impact the academy's operations will have on the College Point community. The Department of Transportation and Department of Design and Construction worked closely with the community to identify traffic mitigation measures that will be put in place prior to the opening of the new academy. The location will have ample on-site parking for NYPD personnel, including a 3,000-car parking garage, to ensure those using the academy are not utilizing local parking spaces. The location is also well served by existing mass transportation options.
The total cost for the first phase of the new academy is estimated at $750 million and the project's construction is a joint venture of Turner Construction Company and STV Incorporated. A cost estimate for the full academy project has not been finalized as some components of the project's design are ongoing.
The construction of the new academy is covered by one of the “Project Labor Agreements” announced by Mayor Bloomberg in November. The agreements, made with the Building and Construction Trades Council, will cover $5.3 billion in public projects comprising 32,000 construction jobs over the next four years. By easing the City's bidding requirements and standardizing work rules, the City will save nearly $300 million on major public projects like the new Police Academy. The savings will be used by the City to fund additional capital projects, allowing projects that may have been delayed due to funding shortfalls to be completed and help create more jobs. The Project Labor Agreements are expected to reduce construction costs at the Police Academy by approximately $30 million. The cost of the project was further reduced by locating the academy on land already owned by the City. The first phase of the academy project is expected to create 2,000 construction jobs.
The entire complex is being designed to achieve a LEED Silver rating. Some of the sustainable design measures under consideration include: an energy-efficient central utility plant; green roofs and high albedo roofs; a high performance building envelope with solar shading and daylight enhancement; daylight harvesting in classrooms and offices; rainwater harvesting and reuse on site; bio-filtration of stormwater runoff; energy efficient lighting in all spaces; and automated building controls.
In 2007, a site selection committee led by Deputy Mayor Skyler reviewed eight possible locations for the new Police Academy and concluded that the College Point Auto Pound would be the location best suited to create a new facility that can meet the modern needs of the NYPD.