Municipal complex designs discussed
SPRINGDALE — The head of an architecture firm updated city leaders Monday on the design for a municipal complex that will include a new criminal justice building.
Roy Decker, principal-in-charge of Duvall Decker, spoke to the finance committee about the project’s status during a meeting inside the City Administration Building’s multipurpose room.
“This is all in motion,” Decker said. “We are beginning to see a strategy for bringing all the pieces together.”
Duvall Decker, an architecture firm based out of Jackson, Miss., was hired to design the 80,000-squarefoot criminal justice building as well as remodel 40,000 square feet of the administration building, 201 Spring St.
Decker showed council members schematic designs of the criminal justice building and remodeled administration building. Some of the designs looked like a collection of basic shapes, but Larry Perkin of Hight Jackson Associates, a Rogers architecture firm working with Duvall Decker on the project, assured those in attendance that early designs appear blocky, but become more detailed as the project progresses.
The council approved a $3.3 million Walton Family Foundation grant in December to cover designing both the criminal justice building and renovations to the administration building. The council in May approved hiring Duvall Decker.
Duvall Decker is doing the designs for a combined cost of $3,250,508. The design also includes a civic square that will unite the administration building with the new criminal justice building.
Decker hosted a public input meeting in the administration building’s City Council Chambers on June 28 and fielded questions about the project from community members.
Decker answered questions from city leaders during Monday’s meeting. Decker has said that the municipal complex’s design will reflect the city’s personality and character. Council member Kathy Jaycox asked how so.
“Springdale is not a very flashy place,” Decker said. “The best buildings are modest well-built buildings. The Shiloh Museum is a classic, simple shaped building. The best buildings in Springdale have really good spaces and materials.The shapes themselves are not complicated, but we don’t want them to be simplistic.”
The criminal justice building will house the police department and city attorney’s office, district court and the information technology department. Those offices are currently located in the administration building.
“The most important part of this project is to make a modern police department that serves the public safety mission of Springdale,” Decker previously said said.
Some parts of the new police department will have Kevlar built into the walls for enhanced security in the event of an active shooter situation, said Brian Meade, a Duvall Decker associate serving as programmer and planner on the project.
The criminal justice building will likely be two stories, but could end up being three stories, according to Decker.
The police department currently runs a short-term jail facility for misdemeanor offenders. However, the new building will not include a jail. Police Chief Mike Peters has said that the city is looking to get out of the jail business and wants the Washington County Detention Center to house the city’s misdemeanor inmates.
The Police Department in the new building will be about 60,000 square feet, Decker said. The department has been renovated 20 times since 1994 and needs a new facility that will meet its growing needs, Decker said.
Once the criminal justice building is built, remodeling work will begin on the administration building, Decker said.
The building inspection office at 107 Spring St. and community engagement office, located across the street from the administration building, will move into renovated portions of the administration building. The administration building will have one entrance instead of the multiple entrances it currently has. That entrance will be located at the building’s north end, which is where the civic square will be.
A new City Council chamber will be built in the administration building’s north end and have greater capacity than the current chamber, which has a maximum occupancy of 182.
Melissa Reeves, the city’s public relations director, asked Decker if the new council chambers will be better insulated from outside sound than the current chambers.
“Your building will be very sealed for environmental control and to help with sound,” Decker said.
The administration building has become worn down within its walls, Decker said.
“You built a commercial level building for a civic purpose,” he said. “This building is built like an office building.”
Parts of the administration building, such as the jail, will be torn out and the exterior will be redone and made to compliment the Criminal Justice Building, Decker said.
“It’s all going to look like one facility,” he said.
The Municipal Complex will also include ample parking to accommodate city business, court business and other public needs, Decker said.