DAPHNE, Ala. (WKRG) — The project is moving forward. Daphne City Council members have approved contracts with an engineering firm and an architect this month to expand the Justice Center along Highway 98.

“This building was built, I believe, in 1998. I think if you look at the population as opposed to 1998 it’s at least doubled. The building hasn’t gotten any bigger,” said Sgt. Jason Vannoy.

Right now Daphne Police has 101 employees, including officers, technicians and administrative staff. Vannoy said officers are responding to more calls than ever before and that means more positions will be added as the city continues to grow.

“Additional cases to investigate, more traffic crashes, more domestic violence, more family disputes. It has really created a need for us to grow very aggressively. There will be additional parking, additional room to store evidence. Our evidence room is very, very full and that’s a constant challenge,” he explained.

It’ll likely take two years to build the new Justice Center, but it won’t be a complete rebuild. A new addition will be added to the current building.

At an estimated cost of several million dollars, the new addition will be added in the rear of the building. The new design will put Daphne Police under one roof, with the patrol division relocating from the Jubilee Square shopping center precinct to the expanded complex. That precinct will stay open as an office space for officers if they need to meet with residents on the north end of the city.

“Patrol can meet with complainants and have a place they can go type a report if they need to or make a phone call,” said Vannoy.

Municipal court will remain at the Justice Center. Sketches of what the new complex will look like are expected in a few months.