Virginia Tech has given Southgate Center a new name -- the Public Safety Building -- to indicate its new use as the home of the Virginia Tech Police Department and the Office of Emergency Management.

Police and emergency management employees began moving into the building in mid-July and officials already see improvements in the ability of two offices to work more closely together, said Mike Mulhare, director of emergency management. The Office of Emergency Management previously occupied non-contiguous office space within Burruss Hall.

Virginia Tech Police, which employs approximately 85 full and part-time employees, was previously housed in the Sterrett Facilities Complex as well as an adjacent trailer.

While most officers have moved into the Public Safety Building, the department’s dispatch center will remain at Sterrett. Individuals who seek walk-up assistance from the police department should go to the Sterrett location.

In time, Virginia Tech Police will renovate space in the Public Safety Building to create a Security Center which will house the dispatch center and provide space for personnel to monitor security cameras on a continuous basis. The Office of Emergency Management is planning the construction of a 3,000-square-foot Emergency Operation Center, which will be used for managing planned events as well as emergencies. Those renovations will take place as funds become available.

The Public Safety Building now provides ample room for evidence storage, offices, meeting rooms, and classroom space. In addition, dedicated interview rooms with audio/video recording capabilities have been established.

The building will also include "surge space" to accommodate academic programs and administrative units that are displaced during future renovation projects.

The building was vacated earlier this year when several administrative departments relocated to the newly constructed North End Center. The $60 million North End Center and adjacent parking garage is now home to the

  • Controller's Office;
  • Office of Sponsored Programs;
  • Department of Human Resources;
  • Office for Diversity and Inclusion;
  • Office of Capital Assets and Financial Management;
  • Internal Audit Department;
  • Procurement Department;
  • Office of Research Compliance; 
  • Office of Export and Secure Research Compliance; and 
  • College of Science Dean's Office.