by Dennis Dalman
Walls keep rising practically overnight at the site of Sartell’s Public Safety Facilities campus along Pinecone Road N. and Heritage Drive.
A ground-breaking ceremony took place at the site about a month ago and already the two buildings are visually definable.
The site will be the new home for both the Sartell Police Department and the Sartell Fire Department. The current site for those departments, back to back on Second Street, has long been inadequate to accommodate their needs.
Last year, after much study and detailed input from members of the police and fire departments, the city council approved construction of the new facilities. The architectural firm chosen for the project is HMA Architects, the same company that designed the Sartell Community Center. Strack Cos. was selected to be the projects’ construction manager.
The current police station and fire department, combined, total only 12,500 square feet. The new facilities will be almost four times bigger – 49,000 square feet.
The buildings of orange-tan brick and metal exterior resemble aesthetically the city’s community center and its city hall.
Murray Mack of HMA architects told the City Council the input from police officers and firefighters was indispensable in helping his firm design the structures. Mack said the project is “like hitting a home run for the city.”
The facilities 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, a conference room and two training rooms. The fire department structure will feature a training tower for firefighters, a fitness room, locker rooms, an interview area, a very large bay for fire vehicles and other equipment, a wash room for firefighting gear, a dining area, a quiet room and break rooms.
The facilities will be completed in early 2020.
Author: Dennis Dalman
Dalman was born and raised in South St. Cloud, graduated from St. Cloud Tech High School, then graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in English (emphasis on American and British literature) and mass communications (emphasis on print journalism). He studied in London, England for a year (1980-81) where he concentrated on British literature, political science, the history of Great Britain and wrote a book-length study of the British writer V.S. Naipaul. Dalman has been a reporter and weekly columnist for more than 30 years and worked for 16 of those years for the Alexandria Echo Press.