This long-awaited public safety center keeps the town of Edmond safe and secure.
When residents of Edmond, Oklahoma voted to upgrade their city’s police headquarters, 911 call center, emergency management center and city jail, they turned to the design experts at FSB and planners at MWL Architects to create what would become the largest city complex in town. The goal was not just to replace sites that were outdated and overcrowded, but also to construct a complex that would be as impervious as possible to natural disasters and other safety threats.
The FSB and MWL team’s first step was to conduct a needs assessment study, one which reviewed the spatial, functional and operational needs of these entities, and studied current national trends pertaining to public safety facilities. Once the assessment was completed, and with the input of all project stakeholders, two sites were chosen. The first, taking up half of an urban city block, was selected for the four-level police headquarters building. A second site, three miles away, was picked for an Ancillary Support Facility. The new headquarters provides nearly 85,000 SF of space for police, central communications and emergency management, including the city’s 911 call center.
Given the absolute necessity of keeping the facility functional on a 24/7/365 basis – even in the wake of a natural disaster or terrorist attack – many additional features and special design alterations were implemented, drawing upon FSB’s expertise. While the main 911 call center is located on the new headquarters’ third floor, an additional backup center is located in the building basement. In case of a tornado or other event, operations can be quickly transferred from one to the other. If needed, the backup call center can also be operated at the same time as the main one, doubling the city’s 911 capabilities in the case of a massive emergency.
To add strength, the building is constructed of concrete, with additional bracing features to increase wind resistance and better protect against debris. Window glazing provides protection against broken glass, while high window sills reduce interior visibility, protecting employees from potential gunmen.
As part of the overall design, ventilation systems were moved away from the traditional roof location, as a protection against biological warfare agents. Ground source heat pumps were installed underground, both to boost efficiency and to provide better protection for the system, while a sub-surface storage space was created to house emergency back-up generators and the extra fuel to supply them. The Ancillary Support Facility, containing approximately 26,446 SF, provides space for evidence storage, vehicle storage and other administrative offices and functions.
The architecture of this unique headquarters not only fulfills a critical need for the City of Edmond, it captures the town’s unique history and community spirit, taking the protection of its citizens – and the officers who serve them — to a whole new level.