Civic & Community

City of Cedar Falls Public Safety Facility

Cedar Falls, IA

The City of Cedar Falls wanted to consolidate police and fire operations into one facility to enhance public safety operations. The City had two main goals for the project: first, to design a facility that was lean and functional, and second, to provide opportunities for program overlap between administration, police, and fire officials without hindering their day-to-day responsibilities.

INVISION met with city representatives to evaluate existing facilities and determine their current and future needs, performing a space needs assessment, analysis of potential sites, master planning of the public safety departments, and the subsequent renovation and addition. The design team found opportunities to overlap program areas that police and fire could share, while still maintaining the individual requirements for each department. Visibility to and from staff into most spaces was also key to promoting connectedness and cohesion throughout the differing functions of the (now combined) city department.

The design incorporated all factions of the public safety department into one cohesive facility with a shared public lobby. Including all the typical spaces utilized by law enforcement and fire departments, the building was organized through a strategy of promoting efficiency and multi-purpose use under the umbrella of Public Safety.

Tim Turnis
Project Architect

To achieve leanness, the design team flushed out the program several times with the users, trimming excess parts of the program while balancing their needs with the budget. There was not any part of the program that wasn’t used in some fashion when the facility opened.

The design team consolidated the program from two directions, physically and visually. The reason for this was because although administration, police, and fire would be under the same roof, each user group functions under specific procedures and security requirements associated with the spaces they work in. To achieve a physical overlap, the team looked for pieces of the programs that could become part of main circulation path like the kitchen/​dayroom and gym to bring all three users together during their day-to-day business. Visual overlap was achieved with glass partitions that visually connect police programs and fire programs to the main staff corridor along the east end of the facility.