Do you know a fire fighter? How about a police officer? Have you ever asked them about their typical work week? Getting involved in this project was a real eye opener for many of us here at the firm. We learned that on average 25% of the total work effort of these first responders is spent in training. As we have seen in national news sometimes these types of public safety professionals may not be getting the training they need.
The City of Meridian, Idaho recognized this need, allocated funds and hired CSHQA to design the first phase of a multi-phase training facility for fire and police departments. CSHQA provided an overall master plan for the entire 9.3-acre site which includes the existing Police Department Building and K9 building.
As we began programming our client wanted the new training center to “look like it belongs” while at the same time making a statement of its own as they anticipate public service professionals from the greater region coming to the facility for required training. We were also asked to increase interior efficiencies within the existing police department so the City could forgo a major addition.
Having accomplished that goal for them, they now hope to be able to save enough money to soon construct the indoor shooting range, a burn building for fire department drills and a scenario village on this same site as they pursue rounding out a full complement of training options for their staff.
The Full Program
Public Safety Training Building: Includes four primary interior teaching spaces: a tiered 68-student classroom; a flat floor 62-student classroom that can be divided into two smaller classrooms; a simulator room to support electronic simulation equipment for training of fire department and law enforcement students, and a mat room to aid in the teaching of hand-to-hand combat technics.
Existing Buildings: Existing spaces and uses in the Police Department building were remodeled to provide an expanded meeting area and offices. Minor improvements were also made to the existing K9 building, including external dog kennels with shade provisions. Outdoor training areas for K9 police dogs include an agility course.
Future Development: A Scenario Village will include several buildings to replicate typical structures found in Meridian (i.e. private residence, convenience store, bank, bar, fast food restaurant and a service station). A new indoor shooting range will provide a safe environment for live fire, instructor areas and weapon cleaning facilities.