OCI Associates, Inc. provided complete mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection engineering design services for Palm Beach State College’s Public Safety Training Complex at the Lake Worth Campus. The $34 million dollar project was completed in three phases and included 145,000 square feet. Training Center sits on 17.9 acres and integrates Fire Science, Criminal Justice, EMT and Paramedic Academies.
Certified USGBC LEED® Gold
Phase I of the Master Plan involves a $2.4 million-dollar indoor Firing Range and is considered the centerpiece of the building. The range has a total of 24 firing lanes for side arms training and pistol and rifle firing. The construction of the interior walls and roof of the shooting range are reinforced concrete and include a bullet trap at the end of the range to capture the bullet slugs. A control booth can adjust conditions on both firing ranges to simulate real-world conditions such as nighttime or low-light situations and flashing blue and red lights from police cruisers. The 22,497 square foot building contains a multipurpose classroom that serves as a classroom and firearms cleaning area. The building will be used to train criminal justice cadets for law enforcement positions and for the continuing training and education of officers employed by local law enforcement agencies.
Phase II of the Master Plan involves a five-story Fire Academy Training Tower, a three-story Burn Building, an Observation Platform, the Criminal Justice Driving Course, a Prop Field including LP Gas Props, a Vehicle Extrication simulation area, and emergency response drill areas.
One distinctive feature of the fire training tower is high-rise alarm system, which tells the status of the heat and smoke detectors and water sprinklers on each floor. It mimics those found in high-rise buildings, but with one difference: the tower’s system is programmable, allowing instructors to preset conditions for different fire scenarios. Alarm sounds and strobe lights add to the realism of the training. Other features include a fully operational elevator covering three of the five floors, allowing for simulations involving passenger rescue; an isolated fourth floor will be used for rescues of trapped victims from confined spaces; a floor cutout on the fifth story allows for exercises involving floor breaks that often endanger firefighters as well as victims; and the tower’s roof has davits for hoisting tools and equipment, or hanging scaffolding to simulate a scaffolding rescue.
Phase III of the Master Plan of this state-of-the-art project integrates the Fire Science, Criminal Justice, EMT and Paramedic Academies in a classroom environment. This last phase includes a 102,055 square foot academic building that has training and specialty classrooms, administration areas, a Wellness Center with a Tactical Gymnasium, and a 250-seat Auditorium/Lecture Hall.