May 9, 2018 | Atlanta, GA
The Georgia Tech Police Department (GTPD) contributes to the success of the Institute by keeping community safety and well-being top of mind. The development of a new 30,000-square-foot Campus Safety Building will give GTPD a new home to enhance its work in maintaining a safe campus environment.
The location of the new Campus Safety Building, at the corner of 10th Street and Hemphill Avenue, is key to supporting campus safety.
“One of our top priorities is access to campus to make sure we can respond quickly,” said Rob Connolly, chief of GTPD. “The north campus location allows for easy accessibility to all parts of the campus, as well as Home Park, which is crucially important to the department.”
During the design phase of this project, members of GTPD emphasized a desire that the building provide a warm, welcoming environment.
“The building should represent how we operate as a department and should never give an intimidating presence,” said Will Smith, director of Emergency Preparedness. With this focus, the building was designed to meet WELL Building standards, the first on campus to do so.
WELL is a performance-based system, established by the International WELL Building Institute, for measuring and certifying features of the built environment that impact human health and well-being. These features include air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind. The project team incorporated these ideals into the design to offer an airy, light-filled entrance and lobby that will invite people into the building.
Designers also took the time to ensure the building’s interior design and construction were conducive to creating a healthy and inviting space. For example, the lobby area will be filled with natural daylight and will include an area to feature community art. Snack machines will offer healthy vending options. To help meet indoor air quality standards, the furniture finishes will meet low- and no-volatile organic compound (VOC) requirements more stringent than previous LEED certification requirements.
Overall, the new building, which is expected to be occupied in Spring 2019, will offer a more cohesive, usable space. Currently, GTPD has limited space for security briefings, large-scale meetings, and events. The Campus Safety Building will include a patrol suite with room for approximately 75 people.
Other additions include an operations center with capacity to expand, a multipurpose center, an emergency center, and three additional conference rooms for meetings and internal training. With more available space, the department can host more outreach events for the entire campus community. New space will also be designated for student interns who are responsible for GTPD’s social media accounts and for students involved in capstone projects related to updating the department’s technology.
Although the new building will enhance numerous aspects of the police department, the most important thing is how it supports the community.
“It’s not just about our building; it’s about how we are evolving to meet the needs of our campus,” Connolly said. “As our campus and surrounding areas continue to change, GTPD will change with them in order to provide a safe environment and protect the well-being of our community.”