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PUBLIC SAFETY: Boca Grande, Florida

"Todd Sweet was the principal contact and supervising architect on the project. He displayed creativity in design and extreme patience in working with the owners in the design and development stages. The follow-through was in my judgment outstanding, especially in the area of attention to detail."

Jerry G. Knight, Retired Fire Chief, City of St. Petersburg Fire Department
Owner Consultant to the Boca Grande Fire Control District

Boca Grande Public Safety Building is an 11,000 SF Fire, EMS and Sheriff's facility on the coastal island community of Boca Grande. The program includes five apparatus bays, training facilities that are available for public use, emergency command station pre-wiring and living quarters.

Replacing the decades-old fire department building necessitated temporary relocation of the fire department over a 12-month construction schedule. The design response reflects the special sensitivity to adjacent structures in the town's historic district. Inspired by the richly detailed exteriors of boulevard homes, the station's classic look is complemented by a two-story replica hose tower serving as the focal point, fully functioning fire pole and refurbished antique siren.

Due to the hurricane-prone coastal area, the design team accommodated a retention system for collecting heavy rains. Materials chosen include Hardi-plank composite siding, the use of double wall construction for all sides and impact-resistant glazing to sustain Florida wind speeds of 144 mph. Mahogany overhead doors, never before achieved at this size in Florida, were specially tested to meet stringent codes.

This project won the notable design award in the November 2004 issue of Fire Chief Magazine.