The Prince William Board of County Supervisors Tuesday approved building a new western district police station outside Manassas.

The new 50,013-square-foot station off Wellington Road will replace a small and outdated outpost in the city of Manassas near the courthouse and jail complex.

The board unanimously approved a construction contract of $12.5 million to District-based Sigal Construction Corp. Sigal's bid was slightly more than was budgeted for construction but still within the project's overall cost of $21.5 million, which includes design and other work.

The design of the building incorporated lessons learned from other county building projects, including the relatively new Gar-Field substation. The new western district station will include the ability to add on to the rear of the building, said Lou Ann Perkins, a county public works official.

The station also incorporates anti-terrorism design components, which include separating the parking areas from the main building. The building will also have a large multipurpose room for meetings and news conferences and includes provisions to respond to disasters and other emergencies, Perkins said.

While the station will have areas for interviewing suspects, it will not include any lockup areas, because it is a short distance away from the county jail.

In addition to the main police building, the project includes a support building and a fueling station for vehicles. Work is expected to begin this month, and the building is expected to be ready for occupancy by October 2005.

But several supervisors said the station, a long, single-story brick building, appeared awkward.

"It looks like a train," said Supervisor Hilda M. Barg (D-Woodbridge).

"I think it looks like a ship," said board Chairman Sean T. Connaughton (R-At Large).

Perkins said that the building was designed to be on a single story at the request of police officials.

County Executive Craig S. Gerhart said plans are in the works for a central district police station to be built in 2009. Gerhart said county officials are already looking at acquiring sites for the project.

"And we will no doubt use lessons from this to integrate into that project," he said.