Facilities Assessment Update

From the 8/2/21 City Council meeting

Over the last year, the Public Safety Team, Woodard and Curran, Simons Architects and Colby Company Engineering completed a facilities assessment for Police, Fire and 911. The assessment included site visits to all locations, interviews with staff, and a space needs program analysis with the goal of identifying deficiencies and providing recommendations for long term solutions.

Each of the Fire Stations were found to be well maintained and in good physical condition but due to age (1952-1974) and the evolution of public safety services over the last 50 years, these facilities do not support current programs and staffing. Several deficiencies were identified at all fire stations, including life safety, diversity accommodation, lack of adequate space for additional beds, offices, fitness area, and equipment storage.

The Police Department moved to City Hall approximately 13 years ago as a temporary 5-year solution until a new APD headquarters could be built. City Hall was not designed to accommodate Police operations and presents many challenges for the department, including but not limited to, undersized locker rooms and restrooms, lack of a secure sallyport, accessible evidence storage, and office space.

The team reviewed several sites for the potential construction of a new facility, and it was determined that the renovation and expansion of Central Fire is the best option for a Public Safety Campus due to its geographic location, size, and existing infrastructure. Combining Police and Fire into one campus allows for shared resources such as common public entry, lobby, training and fitness rooms, an emergency operations center, utilities, and parking. Additionally, this approach allows the 911 center to be relocated from the basement of Central Fire to a purpose-built center on the upper floors of the facility, providing room for future growth. In addition to the new combined Public Safety Facility, Engine 2 Fire Station would be replaced with a new facility, and a renovation and addition would occur at Engine 5.

The proposed solutions at all four locations will correct all deficiencies identified, by utilizing and expanding upon existing City owned sites in a phased multi-year approach. These improvements along with Police relocation would vacate much needed office and storage space at City Hall for use by other City departments, aid in attracting and retaining Public Safety staff, and meet current and future programming needs.