The City of Asheville held a groundbreaking ceremony at 10 am on October 18th, 2021, for the new "Public Safety Station" that Gleeson Builders will construct at 316 Broadway Broadway Street. The new facility will contain a fire station, a relocated Emergency Operations Center, and - the subject of protesters' ire - a police substation. The new station will be approximately one mile from the existing downtown substation at Court Plaza.
Protesters demonstrated at the event with a banner that reads "Fund Community Not Cops" and "Defund AVLPD." There was also a car caravan playing loud music as it circled the event.
Speaking at the event on behalf of the city were Mayor Esther Manheimer, City Manager Debra Campbell, Fire Chief Scott Burnette, and Police Chief David Zack.
In November 2019, City Council authorized a $407,567 contract for the design of the station. In late July 2021, the council voted 6-1 (Roney opposed) to approve $11 million for the facility's construction. At that meeting, some residents spoke out against the police substation planned for the facility.
It seems about half of that $11 million is going to go to the police station - members of the community demanded to defund APD by at least 50%, so the money that's being poured into the police station could be used for low-barrier shelters and other social services that keep people - a majority of them Black and brown - out of the prison industrial complex.
- Mel Noyes, at City Council Meeting 7/27/21
The city predicts that the construction of the facility will be complete in December 2022.