Public safety headquarters to combine fire, police depts.
by Brande Poulnot
Aug 30, 2010 | 3626 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
This architectural model shows the design of Cartersville’s new police and fire headquarters building, including Fire Station 1, on Cassville Road. Leaders say the old mill at Atco was the inspiration for the design. SPECIAL/Croft & Associates
This architectural model shows the design of Cartersville’s new police and fire headquarters building, including Fire Station 1, on Cassville Road. Leaders say the old mill at Atco was the inspiration for the design. SPECIAL/Croft & Associates
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Now in its design phases, Cartersville's new public safety headquarters building will bring the city's fire and police departments into one facility on Cassville Road. It will be a change for both departments, as neither of the existing facilities were designed for their respective functions.

City leaders expect land work and construction of the 53,325-square-foot building at Harris Road and adjacent to Oak Hill Cemetery, a roughly $9 million project funded by 2007 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax dollars, to begin in January.

Assistant City Manager Dan Porta said architects took their inspiration from the old Goodyear facility in Atco.

"Because of that building sitting close to the Atco community, we're trying to make it feel a part of that community and bring in some of those designs of the old building into the new [structure], whether it's a tower that was on the old Goodyear plant," Porta said. "We're trying to incorporate some of those old building concept designs to our building itself and give it a feel of that part of the community."

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-designed facility on about 3.5 acres, which will move fire administration operations and Station 1 from the current building at 19 N. Erwin St. and the existing police station from 178 W. Main St., could be operational as early as October 2011, along with what will be Cartersville Fire Department's Station 4, also in its design phase.

Those construction projects could go to bid in the next couple of months, Porta said.

Move necessitates another fire station, more firefighters

With the move, CFD's coverage areas will change, necessitating another fire station. To make that happen, the city has opted to level the old fire station on MLK Jr. Drive and build an updated structure on the less than 1 acre lot; officials acquired more land for that expansion.

The department expects to add an engine company; three shifts of four men, or 12 firefighters; and move the existing rescue company from headquarters to Station 4, which will be nearer to Interstate 75 and U.S. 41, high-traffic areas where more accidents occur.

"At the outlying stations, Stations 2 and 3, right now they have single companies there. That means four people per day. At the headquarters station, we're basically running a rescue, tower/aerial company and an engine company," Carter said. "What will happen is at Stations 2 and 3, they will still have a single company in those stations. Headquarters will have an engine company and the aerial company running out of that station. Station 4 will have an engine company and rescue company running out of that station."

About 19,000 square feet of the combined facility will be dedicated to the fire department, with the additional area serving both police and fire.

"It is very functional and efficient, good, clean lines. Firefighter safety has been considered," Carter said, adding that all CFD firefighters provided input for the design, which had to be in line with National Fire Protection Association standards. "As far as the community is concerned, it is a beautiful building that is built on a 50-year time frame. We begun this thing with, 'OK, this structure has got to be able to last 50 years' and I think we're going to be very successful at that."

CFD's current facility was constructed in the early 1900s, housing city hall, administrators and police and fire operations, and was renovated in the mid-1990s.

"The building was never designed just as a fire station. She's 100 years old and showing her age," Carter said. "There is a little more square footage but it is very similar to what we have now with the exception there is growth space ... The suppression area and the bay area for the firemen is basically the same with a little bit more increase because of the increase in equipment size of the years."

The new combined headquarters structure will contain the fire station, offices for fire inspections, investigation and training officials, living quarters for fire suppression staff, equipment storage areas and quartermasters. A room will also be dedicated to reference materials, including construction and fire industry codes and training manuals.