Officials Celebrate the Completion of the GJ Public Safety Facilities Project
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- Safety officials celebrated the opening of their Grand Junction Public Safety Facilities on Saturday, with a dedication ceremony.
The new buildings will provide better working conditions for those in uniform, and in the end, offer improved services to the public.
“This project has been in the works for years to replace these facilities,” said Ken Watkins, fire chief of the City of Grand Junction.
This development includes finishing both the Fire Administration Building, and Fire Station Number 2.
Officials were proud to show off all the artwork related to this project.
“We want the community to feel welcome, to know that this is part of them and if they come here, they will be welcomed well,” said Gisela Flanigan, member of the City of Grand Junction Arts Commission.
The city requires any public building being built to budget for an art project, and officials wanted to make sure the pieces selected for this plan reflected the work of both the police and fire department.
“It’s great to actually have a monument at a brand new station, and to represent this brand new station very well,” said Austin Weishel, bronze sculpture artist.
Weishel is a volunteer firefighter, and by using inspiration from work, he was able to craft the sculpture that sits right in front of the new administration building.
“It's called ‘When I Grow Up,’” said Weishel. “I could just see myself as a little boy when I went to the fire station and everything and I wanted to bring that inviting feeling that every fire department represents to the Grand Junction Fire Department.”
Though the service was all about the future, they also looked to the past and buried a time capsule that isn't to be opened for another 50 years.
“History is important and we want to be able to look back on what we have accomplished,” said Watkins. “Just give them a flavor of what it was like to live in the City of Grand Junction.”
There will be another ceremony on September 12th, right after the farmers market, where they will be lighting up the 9/11 statue.