CLERMONT — As Deputy Police Chief Shelli Walters walked through the new Clermont police headquarters Friday afternoon accompanied by the sounds of banging hammers and buzzing saws, she couldn’t contain her excitement.

Work crews were putting the final touches on the 30,620-square-foot building, which is expected to be ready for the agency’s 70 sworn officers and other employees in a couple of weeks.

“You can smell it," said Walters, looking at the freshly painted walls during a media tour Friday.

Like the old building, most of the new headquarters will be off limits to the public when it opens. But public tours will be given during a grand opening slated for 9 a.m. Monday.

The new headquarters is off Hammock Ridge Road and U.S. Highway 27 just north of Kings Ridge, and a long way from the existing station in downtown Clermont on West Montrose Street.

But it's hard to miss sitting high on a hill. The building is adorned in front with giant letters that spell out Clermont Police Headquarters and similar lettering on the side that glows blue at night.

The design of the new building is a stark contrast from the "cramped" old station, which city spokeswoman Doris Bloodsworth said was built for about 20 to 25 officers and lacks the space and many of the features of the new headquarters.

“They have to work on top of each other,” Bloodworth said.

Amenities include larger evidence, meeting and training rooms, HAZMAT showers, more offices for sergeants, lieutenants and other supervisors, four holding cells, a two-way mirror for interrogating suspects and conducting police lineups, and a room for DUI suspects to perform sobriety tests.

There is a gym with treadmills, free weights, balancing balls and other equipment that is all surrounded by 55-inch Samsung televisions.

“Our officers do need to say fit,” Bloodworth said.

One new feature is a hydraulic lift that can hoist vehicles up to 10,000 pounds for processing in criminal investigations. Officials said few agencies in Central Florida are equipped with such a lift.

The department currently conducts such processing at towing facilities.

“This is going to help us out a lot, we can conduct the investigations at the highest level,” said Lt. John Jacob.

There’s also more parking spaces for employees and visitors.

The $8 million structure was funded by a 1-cent sales tax and is expected to be paid for in 15 years. The building took about 11 months to construct. But the move has been a long time in the making, said Walters, who just joined the department in August after almost 30 years with the Altamonte Springs Police Department.

Another site was initially purchased for the new headquarters before the 6.5-acre property became available off Hammock Ridge Road next to the Clermont Arts and Recreation Center.

Bloodworth said with Clermont being the largest city in Lake County, it was important to have a thorough headquarters and it is expected to help address a growing population. There are vacant offices and open space that can be filled as the department’s ranks swell.

The additional space can accommodate the department’s new activities, including serving as a home base for the Sea Cadets youth program.

“This is the building we wanted,” Bloodworth said.