Most public safety agencies have existing facilities that are sufficient for their daily operations and activities. But for some, additional facilities or improvements to existing ones are necessary to deliver the agencies' needs. Modernization and expansion can compel an agency to undertake construction of new structures or renovate existing ones to accommodate additional functions and innovations.
Chandler Police and Fire recently went through such with the construction of the Chandler Public Safety Training Center. Today's speakers, Candace Hammond and Tiffany Anderson are members of the Planning and Research Team of the Chandler Police Department who were tasked to oversee the project. Candace is the Planning and Research Manager and is responsible for the department's budget and capital improvement program planning, among others. Meanwhile, Tiffany is a Planning and Research Analyst who works on facility master planning and various research projects.
Candace and Tiffany take turns on this course to discuss the details of undertaking a major facility construction including:
- A video clip of the Chandler Public Safety Training Center’s grand opening that emphasizes how it can facilitate quality and effective training and foster collaboration and partnership between Chandler Police and Fire.
- An overview of the city of Chandler and the Chandler PD.
- A brief history that recounts the early plans of creating the facility and the choice of the site.
- The working history of the project that started with commissioning an architectural firm to create a masterplan study.
- The masterplan that served as the framework which identified the agencies’ needs, assessed its workload and staffing, and considered future plans.
- The contents of the masterplan that outlines the needs/wish list of the various teams, prioritization and categorization of projects, the benefits of the investment, and the budget.
- Budgeting for the new facility which defines the budget allocations, the funding sources, additional operations and maintenance costs.
- The two phases in which the construction was segmented and prioritized which specifies the features of the areas to be constructed.
- A look into the design development process which starts with a kick-off meeting and the creation of two key groups.
- The two groups created comprised by the admin group in charge of the budgeting, and the core group made up of stakeholders, end-users, and specialists.
- The design development process timeline which is kept flexible to accommodate issues that may arise amidst construction, and an example of an issue that they encountered.
- The importance of construction documents which serves as the reference to all elements that must be included and accomplished in the construction.
- A rundown and brief visual tour of the facilities’ rooms for phase 1 of the construction including the considerations for each room, its characteristics, and pitfalls experienced, if any.
Tiffany and Candace clarified during the Q&A portion the audience’s inquiries on:
- Their background on commercial construction
- The city council’s requirement to getting the facility approved for construction
- Determining the classroom sizes
- How they got hold of the donated land, and conditions, if any
- Touring other existing modern facilities for inspiration
- Determining the allocation of the budget between the Chandler Fire and Police departments
- Calculating ongoing expenses
- Allowing other agencies to use the facility
- Architectural and other interior design considerations
- Choosing the architect for the project