New College Point Police Academy Plans Approved
Queens Borough President Helen Marshall said on Thursday, August 6, that she has approved plans for a $1 billion state-of-the-art police academytraining facility academic complex in College Point where recruits, civilians and veteran officers will receive required training and refresher courses. The plans now go before the City Planning Commission at the start of the city Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP).
Marshall approved the plan with conditions following a public hearing at Borough Hall on July 16. The conditions echo some of those expressed by Community Board 7 when it voted 29-0 in favor of the plan in June.
In her positive recommendation to the Planning Commission, Marshall said that the Police Department had worked closely with the community board, civic associations and her office to develop the plan and the mitigation efforts needed to address the impacts of the 35-acre campus.
The new academy, which will replace several training facilities around the city, will include classrooms, a pistol range, an indoor track and gym, and a simulated subway station for training in biological, chemical and radiological warfare. An original proposal for an aboveground parking facility with 1,800 spaces has been expanded and now will provide spaces for 2,000 vehicles.
Although construction will be done in phases, as one of the conditions for approval, Marshall asked that after the final design is completed and infrastructure improvements identified, full construction funding be committed to the city's Capital Budget for Fiscal Year 2011, which begins at the start of July 2010.
Marshall also made her approval conditional on the Borough President's Office being a member of the Police Academy Construction Task Force, a body that the city agreed to create as the project proceeds.
Finally, Marshall said that the start of construction of the new Police Academy should not take place before a Project Labor Agreement is in place to assure that all workers receive prevailing wages and benefits and outreach efforts are made to residents to enable them to apply for related construction or permanent job opportunities and business.
Marshall, who characterized the city's uniformed forces as the first line of defense in protecting the city from terrorism, said that the new facility will be "another valuable asset serving College Point, Queens and all of New York City".