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  Gilchrist County Public Safety Complex

Gilchrist County Public Safety ComplexArchitect

The Rickman Partnership, Inc.
4328 N.W. 29th Terrace, Gainesville, FL 32605

General Description

Location: Bell, Florida
Date Bid: Aug 2007
Construction Period: Nov 2007 to Dec 2008
Total Square Feet: 15,211 Site: 8.5 acres.
Number of Buildings: One.
Building Size: Garage, 5,583; first floor, 9,628; total, 15,211 square feet. Building Height: First floor, 12'; total, 12'.
Basic Construction Type: New/Type 2.
Foundation: Slab-on-grade. Exterior Walls: Insulated Concrete Form (ICF). Roof: Membrane. Floors: Concrete. Interior Walls: Metal stud drywall.

Construction Team

Structural Engineer: Wayland Structural Engineering - 8200 S.W. 16th Place, Gainesville, FL 32607
General Contractor: The Alexander Group, LLC - P.O Box 1027, Newberry, FL 32669
Electrical & Mechanical Engineer: TLC Engineering for Architecture, Inc. - 1650 Prudential Drive, #200, Jacksonville, FL 32207
Civil Engineer: Causseaux, Hewett & Walpole - 6011 N.W. 1st Place, Gainesville, FL 32607

The Gilchrist County Public Safety Department was previously housed in a small, frame, rental building converted from a residence. Efficient operation by the staff was curtailed by the lack of space and there was no room for expansion. The County applied for, and received, State and Federal Grant Money to construct a new Public Safety Complex.

The Rickman Partnership, Inc. was selected to design a new facility on an 8.5-acre site adjacent to an existing emergency medical station, which is north of Bell, Florida on State Road 129. The final program included the county's emergency operations center, a fire station, and the relocation of the existing emergency medical station. The grant requirements dictated that the emergency operations center withstand windborne debris as well as 160 mph winds. The site and the building were designed to account for a 500-year flood occurrence.

The emergency operations center is designed to accommodate the existing full time staff of six and to provide for an emergency occupancy of an additional 33 people for briefing and emergency operations. In addition to the emergency operations center, the fire station, attached to the center, is designed to accommodate an eight-member fire and emergency medical staff. The building was to provide for future additions for possible countywide central dispatch and storage area.

The site is designed to provide public access and parking for the full time staff and short term temporary emergency personnel. Provisions were also made for a future helicopter-stop pad. Both the emergency operations center and the fire station have the capability of continued operation through an on-site emergency generator that will power the total building electrical requirements, including the HVAC system.

The fire station maintains a separate facility to accommodate 24-7-365 operations. Bunk rooms, showers and a full kitchen, dining and day room provide a comfortable living space for the emergency crews and visitors. Direct access to the apparatus bay from the bunk area and the dayroom assures quick emergency response for the staff. The apparatus bay has space for six emergency vehicles, equipment storage and a bio-hazard room. Emergency apparatus have the ability of drive-through entrance and exit.

The basic construction of the fire station and the emergency operations center is a slab-on-grade with monolithic footing, insulated form concrete bearing walls and a pre-cast concrete plank roof structure with membrane roof on tapered insulation. Due to wind load requirements, roof top equipment was kept to a minimum. The apparatus bays were developed based on a pre-engineered metal building. Interior partitions are a veneer plaster system on metal frame. The site work required extensive cutting and filling, on-site septic system, potable water well and storm water control, and storm water retention, in addition to the paving for parking and apparatus circulation.

When the facility was substantially complete on August 18, 2008, a dedication ceremony was held. Immediately after the dedication the facility was put into full operation, as Hurricane Fay became a factor affecting the North Central Florida area. The dedication party was able to see the building function in the way that it was designed.


DIV. 3: Insulated Concrete Form (ICF): Polysteel.
DIV. 7: Membrane: Soprema.
DIV. 8: Entrances: Vistawall.
DIV. 9: Metal Studs: Dietrich; Plaster: USG Veneer; Carpet: Interface; VCT: Armstrong.
DIV. 26: Light Fixtures: Lightolier.


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