By Emily Carmichael, Uptown Messenger
Tulane University has won city approval to build a Tulane University Police Department substation on the previous site of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity building across from The Boot Bar and Grill.
The now vacant lot at 1036 Broadway is zoned as residential and required a conditional use approval to be used in a public works and safety capacity.
As Uptown Messenger previously reported, the station will be a single story, 3,600-square-foot building to serve as a 24/7 command center for TUPD’s off-campus patrols.
The City Council approved the conditional use by a unanimous vote on Thursday, Jan. 16, following an earlier City Planning Commission recommendation.
TUPD is responsible for policing Tulane’s campus and the one-mile perimeter surrounding the campus. The department will retain its primary headquarters on campus at 2650 Ben Weiner Drive.
“This substation will not only increase the police presence in the University neighborhood, but also allow officers to respond more quickly to any incidents,” said District A Councilman Joe Giarrusso. “Tulane already has law enforcement authority in a portion of Uptown. This helps one of government’s top priorities, which is to keep residents safe.”
At Thursday’s City Council meeting, city planner Stephen Kroll noted: “The Planning Commission thought this is an appropriate location, in that it’s right across from a bar.”
The Boot is a popular college bar just two blocks from Tulane’s main library, Howard Tilton Memorial Library, and across the street from the Greenbaum Residence Hall. It’s made numerous “Best College Bars in America” list, taking the top spot of USA Today’s list in 2013.
At the beginning of the semester, a Loyola University was arrested for sexually assaulting women at The Boot. In the past month, a Boot bouncer was fired upon outside the bar and a University of Louisiana at Lafayette student was killed at Hillary and Burthe streets, near a trio of bars within a mile of Tulane’s campus.
According to reporting from The Hullabaloo, Tulane has planned to build this substation since 2011, three years after the fraternity was kicked off campus for injurious hazing practices, but the project was delayed due to funding issues.