Posted at: 09/25/2012 4:13 PM
| Updated at: 09/25/2012 5:40 PM
By: Beth Wurtmann
LATHAM - Search and rescue teams jump out of a helicopter, state police divers swam in full scuba gear, and troopers, on the look out.
This wasn't a real emergency, though, it was a demonstration and tour of the new Troop G headquarters.
Many of us have watched the construction over the last two years.
And today, the public and the media were invited to get a first hand look at the new headquarters building, off Route 7.
NewsChannel13 also asked about its price tag for taxpayers.
Rappelling from a state police helicopter the Special Operations and Response Team showed how they can quickly land for a search and rescue, or other crisis. Just one of the demonstrations troopers put on for the public and media to show off the new Troop G headquarters, leaving Betty Nash of Colonie quite impressed.
“Just to see the new building, it's gorgeous it's a beautiful building and I love to see the helicopter, hahaha!"
Top troopers joined with law enforcement officials to cut the ribbon on the two story, 85,000 square foot main building off Route 7 in Latham, with state of the art equipment for the forensic and computer crime labs.
It also brings together several divisions for the first time, like this communications center, and the state police dive team. Another 35,000 square foot garage also consolidates maintenance and repair. And they say all of it came in under budget.
D'Amico says, “It was budgeted at over $44,000,000 for construction and we came in at $37,000,000 which is decently under budget.”
But was that price tag justified during a state fiscal crisis? State Police Superintendent Joseph D'Amico says it was smart to build from scratch, after outgrowing the old headquarters in Loudonville, which was badly in need of repair.
He says the new facility will also save about 20% on operating costs with green and efficient design.
“It is a good deal for taxpayers and I think it was planned maybe at a time when we weren't in the sane fiscal condition. If we planned it today would we? I don't know it's hard to say,” said D’Amico