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Sheriff's operation center up for review

A committee will examine construction drawings for the Dade City station today.

By JAMES THORNER, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published November 7, 2002

DADE CITY -- By late next year, operating rooms will no longer serve as the operations center for Pasco County sheriff's deputies based in Dade City.

Construction could begin in the next few months on what amounts to a new $2.6-million station on Gene Nelson Boulevard, next to John S. Burks Memorial Park north of State Road 52.

The new 15,723-square-foot building will replace the current operations center on Howard Avenue, the former Jackson Memorial Hospital.

A second, 7,500-square-foot building will appear later on Gene Nelson Boulevard to house the sheriff's records department.

The project can't come soon enough for the patrol deputies, detectives and administrators eager to switch to the new station.

The new building will offer perks that include a small gymnasium. Unlike the existing building, it will be fully secure. The boulevard is more accessible to patrol cars than is Howard Avenue.

"This will be a lot more functional for sheriff's staff," said Dennis Lemons, construction project supervisor for the county. "For suiting needs, this building will be 1,000 percent better."

The county's Development Review Committee plans to review construction drawings at a meeting that begins at 1:30 p.m. today at the West Pasco Government Center in New Port Richey.

Assuming the committee approves the plans, the county will seek bids from contractors in about three weeks, Lemons said. Construction would take about nine months.

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