Chicago in talks with design firm for public safety academy

CHICAGO (AP) - The city of Chicago is to start negotiations for the design and construction of a 30-acre training academy for police officers and firefighters.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Friday that the joint venture will be led by multinational engineering and design firm AECOM. City Council approval will be required for the contract to be finalized.

AECOM will be responsible for leading a collaborative design process with city stakeholders, neighborhood residents and first responders.

The $95 million training academy will be built in West Garfield Park. Construction is expected to start next year.

City officials have said it will improve training for police officers and firefighters, but also attract more businesses and residents to move into what they say will be a much safer neighborhood once the academy is built.