By Madison McVan
The Liberty Hill Police Department relocated to the former city hall building on Loop 332 earlier this year. Since the move, the building’s renovations have been nearly completed.
The remodel is about 90 percent finished, according to Chief of Police Maverick Campbell. The building still needs some furnishings, and the parking lot will be enlarged and handicap parking added in the future.
The project was funded by tax notes. However, Campbell deferred questions about the construction costs to the City Secretary. Repeated requests over the past week for information regarding the cost of building renovations remained unanswered by press time on Wednesday.
Prior to the move, the police department was housed in the building on RR 1869 that is home to the Municipal Court and Council Chamber. There, they faced a lack of space, which forced them to put equipment in storage and share desks, Campbell said.
“We made do with what we had,” he said.
Chief Campbell predicts that the police department will outgrow their new building in the next 10 years as the city continues to expand. He plans on presenting a plan to the City Council and securing funds for another buildout in the 2018-2019 fiscal year.
Updates to the current building include a CJIS-certified security system, new signage on the outside and artwork inside, created by the Liberty Hill High School art program, Girl Scout Troop #1408 and Officer Jeffrey Farmer.
The centerpiece near the entrance of the building is a painting of a police badge on a wood background, with a backlit, stained-glass Texas in the center. Officer Farmer built the wood background, LHHS junior Jaiden Dennis painted the badge, and LHHS art teacher Debbie Schaefer created the stained-glass Texas.
“We originally wanted to do a mural, but we chose this instead so that it could move and be more sophisticated,” Schaefer said. “It took months of programming, photos and measurements to put it together.”
The large focal piece, as well as smaller collages put together by Schafer, were a surprise for Chief Campbell.
“This is a perfect example of building bridges with the community and it helps relationships with the school district strengthen,” Chief Campbell said. “I just think it’s great, you can actually see that part of the community did that.”
Girl Scout Troop #1408 put together a display showing the history of the police department in order to earn their Bronze Award, which is placed under the large art piece. The troop met with Officer Farmer two or three times in the spring to plan the display, according to troop leader Megan Parsons.
“I like contributing to the community and knowing that we’re helping the community,” said 5th grader Sophia Ortiz.
The display shows former LHPD uniforms, badges and equipment alongside the current uniforms. For their work on the display, the troop won a Bronze award, which is the highest award available to junior Girl Scouts.