The construction of the Rose Center, the future headquarters of the University Police, is about one-fourth complete and running on schedule, Yale planner and engineer Bob Saidi said.

The project began in October of last year and is scheduled to be completed this December, Associate Vice President of New Haven and State Affairs Michael Morand said. Located on Ashmun Street behind Swing Space, the Rose Center, which will also include community facilities, will occupy 38,000 square feet, nearly five times the size of the current Yale Police Department headquarters on Sachem Street.

Saidi said the Rose Center is still expected to cost under $12 million.

“We’re within the budget that was approved,” he said.

Morand said the University has begun informal conversations with the Community Learning Center to plan activities that will be held at the Rose Center and expects programming to begin in early 2006.

“We will develop the specific programs when the time gets closer,” Morand said.

Morand said the completion of the Rose Center will benefit the neighborhood and serve as another example of the University reaching out the community.

“The Dixwell neighborhood has been experiencing a tremendous renaissance, with many successes in the area,” Morand said. “This will be yet another addition that can stand as a tangible example of the University and the community working together.”

University Police Lt. Michael Patten said that floor tiles have been added to the building at this stage in the construction process, but that it has been challenging for workers to complete the job due to harsh weather conditions this winter.

Last fall, Saidi said workers from the DIMEO Construction Company, the contractor hired for the project, wanted to complete as much of the construction as possible before the arrival of the winter season made it more difficult. He said yesterday that although the winter has proved challenging to overcome, the weather has not been a source of major problems.

“There have been some delays due to the winter,” Saidi said. “But we still expect to complete it on time.”

Before the University Police Department moves into the new Rose Center after its completion, it will have to wait a few weeks for the furnishing of the building and addition of the interior finishes, Saidi said.

“You want the smell of the paint to get out of the building,” he said.

Saidi said the engineers of the building also need a few extra weeks to ensure that the building’s communications equipment, used by police dispatchers and located in the basement, works properly. The plans for the Rose Center include the addition of four dispatcher positions, Saidi said, though only three dispatchers will be on duty at any time.

“The whole dispatch room will be in a prominent position in the building,” he said. “It’ll be surrounded by glass so the dispatchers will be able to see the students walking up and down Science Hill, and the students will be able to see in.”

Saidi said the addition of the communications equipment in the basement and the wiring, piping and ventilation of the building are some of the challenges ahead in the building process.

“It’s hard to do all that set-up,” he said. “The challenges keep taking different forms as we go through the project.”