Making progress: New emergency services building completion expected in nine months
Over the last few years, the Whitehall Township Municipal Building, 3219 MacArthur Road, has undergone massive renovations during the development of the new emergency services building.
The Whitehall Township Board of Commissioners approved the predesign phase of the project in June 2018 through resolution No. 3016. The project has been moving steadily forward ever since.
The new addition at the municipality’s headquarters will serve the township’s public safety division. A large portion of the building will be occupied by the police department. Reportedly, the police department space at 3731 Lehigh St. has become increasingly cramped with the township’s growth. This new building will come equipped with a police training area that can also be used for public events.
While the emergency services building will largely be allocated to the police force, the fire chief’s office will also be housed within so the person filling the role has a place to maintain management. Some space may be used to store fire equipment as well.
There are still about nine months of construction left on the building. The current administration office will temporarily stay on the first floor of the new emergency services building - effective April 19 - so the administrative space can receive renovations. Mayor Michael Harakal Jr. said they expect to be there for about three or four months.
The construction project has found funding through different avenues, including a $1 million grant from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program that was awarded to the township in August 2019. The grant is intended to preserve a region’s culture and history while building toward economic growth by creating more room for new jobs. Harakal reported another grant application is being evaluated in Harrisburg.
“Hopefully, we get some additional funding,” he said of that grant.
This massive project would not have been possible without the many helping hands working within the municipality. Harakal extended his gratitude to Michael Marks, police chief; Jack Meyers, deputy mayor; Debi Bowman, finance officer; and Tim Christman, building and grounds supervisor.
“All four have done a great job with working very closely with the contractors and our engineering gang to make sure things are moving along very well,” Harakal said.
Expect more updates to roll out as the emergency services building reaches its final stretch at the end of this year. This development is expected to create some much-needed relief for the public safety workforce.