It’s going to cost a little more than $3 million dollars to get four local law enforcement agencies under one roof.
Roanoke County's current police academy operates out of the county's public safety building located on Cove Road.
County officials said the facility is overcrowded and doesn't offer everything the trainees need to learn. Now, the county wants to give the city’s facility a makeover.
The Roanoke City Police Academy is located at 5401 Barns Avenue in Roanoke and county leaders have every intention of moving ahead with the multimillion dollar project.
Taxpayers will end up paying $324,262 for the expansion, if the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors approves it.
The rest of the project will be paid for with federal money the county has been holding on to since 2008 from a settlement.
When it comes to training the men and women who will serve and protect, there's no cutting corners.
"That is a huge step forward for public safety training in the Roanoke Valley," said Roanoke County Police Chief Howard Hall.
Hall said it’s a great opportunity to get the city and county police departments in the same training facility as well as Roanoke County’s Sheriff’s Office and Virginia Western Regional Jail.
"It will also help us broaden the scope of the training that we can offer by sharing our resources, putting them together," said Roanoke County Sheriff Michael Winston.
Winston said the new multimillion dollar expansion to the current city police academy will not only enhance their learning abilities but will also boost camaraderie.
"You have the ability when you get to a scene you know everybody and it makes you more comfortable,” said Winston. “Everyone knows how to do the same job. Everyone's been trained the same way and it’s probably a lot better that way."
The addition will bring another 8,350 square feet to the current facility. It will also add new classrooms, technology, offices and exercise facilities that are essential to successful training.
"Realistically it could be bigger,” said Winston. “The training needs are getting to be so great these days you have to have so much space to get things done, but you learn to do more with less."
The Roanoke County Board of Supervisors only voted on a first reading to appropriate the funds on Tuesday.
They will meet and vote on a second reading on October 22.
If it passes, county officials hope to have the addition completed by next winter.