Webinar presenters Tiffany Anderson and Candace Hammond of the Chandler Police Department answered a number of your questions after their presentation, "Planning, Designing and Constructing a Public Safety Facility." Here are a few of their responses.
Audience Question: Did either of you have a background in commercial construction before this project?
Candace Hammond: We are lucky here in Chandler that we have a capital projects team, it's an entire division, that's where the background is. We were just there to represent the owners in trying to keep it moving along.
Audience Question: Did the mayor or city require a return on investment calculation for the project? If so, can you share how you responded to this request?
Tiffany Anderson: It wasn't part of the formula but they did want to see the value of the facility to the city overall not just to the police department and fire department. We did have to demonstrate why this project was of value to the citizens of Chandler.
Audience Question: Was it easier to get approval for the budget with it being a joint project?
Candace Hammond: Anytime that you have a joint facility whether it's joint within your different departments or joint with other regional areas, I think it just makes sense that you share your limited resources and that's always looked on that you are benefiting more people with less dollars. I would say that's definitely a benefit. We're very fortunate to have such a great working relationship between police and fire.
Audience Question: How is the size and space of classrooms determined? How did you go through that process?
Tiffany Anderson: We actually used our historical teaching experiences to do that and we also needed to project as best as we could for our future needs. Definitely having classrooms designed the way that we did with being able to make larger classrooms out of smaller ones, it helped with anticipating what our future growth was. To be honest with you, high in the sky we love to have 2, 3, 4 more classrooms but who doesn't? Who doesn't want to get more than the money they have to pay for it, right? Certainly, we anticipate that this is going to fit our needs for the future quite a ways.
Candace Hammond: We currently use our community rooms for classroom activities before this was built and fire has some of their training rooms as well. We have those available to us for those times that we do need more than this facility can hold.
Audience Question: Did we hear you correctly when you said that the land was donated? if so, how did that take place? Was there anything expected in return?
Tiffany Anderson: No, not at all. I do not know the details about what facilitated it but my understanding was we did not ask for it. It was a flat out donation. When we looked at the maps in retrospect, it was sort of a little odd, tracted land that the neighbor, Intel, couldn't have used practically. It certainly benefited us, I'm so glad they had the foresight to realize that, definitely the generosity in giving it to us. No, we did not solicit for that land. We're just very blessed to have that happened
Audience Question: Did you or your building team tour new facilities or agencies to get ideas on features, layouts and such?
Candace Hammond: Yes, definitely. This concept of having a training facility has been on the radar for many, many years, long before the masterplan. During that time even as different administrations have changed through the Police Department and even in the planning area, they toured facilities to see what was happening and what's most contemporary and even the phases as different groups, individuals and users they toured other facilities as well.
Audience Question: Was the main reason Fire's costs (for the building expenditure) are roughly a quarter of the PD’s is because of the specialty training areas necessary for the PD like the indoor range and such?
Candace Hammond: I believe the budget were divided by the square footage approximations for use. Is that correct, Tiffany?
Tiffany Anderson: Yes, it was. For example, while we wouldn't not let Fire Department use our defensive tactics training room, that was definitely built for police training purposes so it would make sense that the police would foot the bill for that square footage. The classrooms at the time that we did the needs assessment, Fire. I guessed we just weighed how much usage the Police Department would have versus Fire. It was quite a detailed process when giving up that square footage that Candace was talking about. We feel very comfortable that it represented us well even now at the end of the project.
Candace Hammond: With that said, again it gets back to that collaboration and relationship. We work together jointly with Fire and Police to ensure we have successful funding and be able to make our projects work. We just collaborated on that even though it seems to be a very hard line there. We work together with it.