by Dennis Dalman
Members of the Sartell City Council were treated at their Oct. 22 meeting to a preview of the proposed Sartell Public Facilities Building.
The building, which could begin as early as next April, will be the new home for both the city’s fire department and its police department.
The preview was in the form of an architectural video of what the building will look like, with stylized exterior views and interior layout of all of its features and functions. The video was created by HMA Architects, the same firm that designed the Sartell Community Center. Strack Cos., which was also the construction management for the center, will manage construction of the police and fire department building.
After viewing the video and hearing comments from Murray Mack and Tim Gillet, both of HMA Architects (Mack the president, Gillet the project architect), the council voted unanimously to allow advertisement for bids for the project.
The current police station and fire department, on Second Street S., have both long outgrown their very small headquarters. Together, they are only 12,500 square feet of space. The new facility will be almost four times bigger – 49,000 square feet.
The building of orange-tan brick and metal exterior resembles aesthetically the city’s community center and its city hall. It will be built on the west side of Pinecone Road S. north of Heritage Drive.
Mack told the council a lot of input from police officers and firefighters went into the architectural planning, and he called the future building “like hitting a home run for the city.”
The facility will contain a vast array of specialized rooms: a police booking area, a large lobby, dictation room, data-storage room, other secured storage rooms, offices for police personnel, administrative rooms, conference room, two training rooms, a training tower for firefighters, a fitness room, locker rooms, an interview area, a large police vehicle garage, a very large bay for fire vehicles and other equipment, a wash room for firefighting gear, a dining area, a “quiet room,” break rooms and more.
Speaking for the council, Mayor Sarah Jane Nicoll thanked the architects and construction manager for all the planning and research in putting together a “delicate balance” of so many needs for public safety.
After bids are opened in early November, the architects and construction manager will give another presentation at the Nov. 26 council meeting so new members of the council elected Nov. 6 can be updated on all the details of the project.