City Hall officials, police and various business types turned out Thursday for the groundbreaking of the new police substation in Suwanee at I-85.
Even those nearby noticed.
"If you don't think some people aren't glad to see investment in the area, look behind me here," City Manager Marty Allen said as he motioned toward workers from a nearby Wendy's who took time to watch.
and finish in the fall for the single-story facility that will also house a firing range in the rear. Total project cost is about $1.9 million. The lot, at Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road and I-85, cost $750,000. The existing structure, which is a former gas station, will be demolished.
Hogan Construction of Norcross is handling construction, Tunnell Spangler Walsh is the architect, and MorelandAltobelli (which includes former Gwinnett BOC Chairman Wayne Hill) is program manager.
Police Chief Mike Jones said the goals of the new substation are training and visibility.
"If people are coming into town (on I-85) and need the police, they don't have to look for us," said Jones. The training means police "will exceed the expectations of our citizens."
Architect Jerry Spangler noted that the building will be "tight to the highway," providing high visibility and more of an urban feel.
The project also is expected to spur a revival of the Gateway area, which has been hit hard in recent years by business failures.