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Local Workers Keep Silvis Police Department Construction On Schedule for February Completion

SILVIS, Illinois (October 2016) — The Silvis Police Department isn’t just getting updated — it’s upgrading to a state-of-the-art, modern facility in a more central location that will benefit both employees and the community as a whole.

The current police department is located near a natural railway where rail cars carry hazardous or combustible materials. According to Silvis Chief of Police Mark VanKlaveren, results from a recent threat assessment study — which calculates risk and potentially hazardous scenarios — prompted the move. He noted that, if a spill were to occur, “it could take out all communications, and there goes the emergency services for the city.”

The design process for the new $2.5 million facility at 600 Illini Drive took more than a year before the groundbreaking ceremony was held last February. The project, headed by Quad Cities general contractor Russell Construction, features a concrete-enclosed booking room accessible by key code only for increased security, Wi-Fi throughout the entire building, a fitness room for staff, a community room, a squad car garage and modern plumbing/mechanical — including the construction industry’s latest Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) technology to heat and cool spaces according to demand.

“The VRF system is what a lot of people are going to now because it’s energy efficient,” said Bill Allison, business agent at Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Union 25.

Adam Isaacson of Crawford Company — the local sub-contractor hired for the facility’s mechanical and plumbing needs — said the new police department is set up with 18 individual VRF heads and one common unit, plus electric supplemental baseboards throughout.

The project’s completion is targeted for February 2017, and currently is ahead of schedule due to the quality workmanship of the Tri-City Building & Construction Trades Council members employed on the site.

“It’s important for Silvis to use local — they wanted to use local trades, local materials,” VanKlaveren said. “That’s one of the big draws on this project.”

“Our members go through a five-year apprenticeship program and continue education after that,” Allison said of Local 25, specifically. “We get it done right, and done right the first time. By partnering with the Tri-City Building & Construction Trades Council, what they’re spending will be reinvested in the community. The workers live here and shop here.”

Silvis Mayor Tom Conrad emphatically agreed.

“Quality people, quality product — you can’t beat it,” he said. “We’ve learned our lesson with other projects. With union labor, you don’t get surprised. If we can help the region in the workforce, it’s a no-brainer.”

By the time the new police department is completed, nearly 130 local skilled tradespeople will have been employed on-site.

As for the fate of the building that currently houses the Silvis Police Department?

“I can say that we will repurpose it,” Mayor Conrad said, noting that details cannot be disclosed at this time, but interested parties are looking into its purchase. “It’s got some character to it. We don’t want to lose that downtown feel.”