"Fostering a sense of community and civic pride in the thriving Wellen Park community, the new City of North Port Public Safety Building anchors the gateway to Downtown Wellen Park. The campus-like structure houses North Port Fire Rescue Station 86 and North Port Police Department from east to west, joined at the center by a public entrance plaza, lobby and shared training rooms. Its footprint captures qualities of permanence, with a planar composition of mono sloped metal roofs, stucco, and extensive glazing along the northern façade. Whimsical abstractions of pike poles, essential in firefighting, carry prominent roof elements at the fire training tower. Stretching 24,000 square feet along Tamiami Trail where it meets Preto Boulevard, the building’s corner features bright red fire house doors. Here, a fully restores 1946 Seagrave fire truck is housed within a glassy display room, evoking the rich history of North Port Fire Rescue and glowing at night like a lantern for the community.
Facing east along Preto Boulevard, the new Fire Station 86 provides offices, sleeping quarters and support space for both the City of North Port and Sarasota County in this shared facility. A stair tower for rappelling, ladder, hose training, and other simulated conditions affords personnel on-site practice adjacent to a four bay, double-deep apparatus room. At nearly 6,000 square feet, the sun-lit bays ready the rescue vehicles and fire trucks with bright red metal and glass doors, their names boldly announced above.
Just beyond the apparatus room, the entrance drive brings the public to the south-facing main entrance, where the full expanse of the campus can be experienced. Visible from left to right are the rescue helipad, a 1,600 square foot police garage for support equipment, dedicated parking for police, fire, visitors, and the Safety Building itself, all focused around a contemplative Hero Plaza. Here and throughout the facility, the men and women who have served are memorialized and honored for their dedication and achievements. Next to this plaza is the soaring main entrance and covered gathering space.
From the public lobby, the fire rescue and police departments share a 1,000 square foot training room and fitness facility. To the right are the kitchen, dining, and aforementioned fire rescue quarters. To the left are the reception, offices, meeting rooms, roll call room and support for the police department. In the SW corner a 1,400 square foot virtual training facility has been created next the hard interview rooms, to serve the community in its continued growth.
With an efficient layout, quality materials and sense of gravitas, the new North Port Public Safety Building honors history while looking forward, performing optimally for its first responders and department staff, and meeting the needs of the City of North Port and the thriving Wellen Park community for many years to come."
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