Feasibility plan approved: Public Safety Center moves to design phase

A new Public Safety Center intended to house both Patterson Police Services and the administration team of Patterson Fire is one step closer to taking true form after the feasibility study was approved by the city council.

The feasibility study, developed after several meetings between the design company and city employees which included a walk through assessment of the current facilities, was unveiled at the city council meeting on May 4 and was well received by council members and the public.

LDA Partners out of Stockton presented the council with design elevations of what the new center could potentially look like, as well as floor plans showing how the new space will be shared by the two departments.

Comments about the aesthetics of the building were most prevalent among the council. Vice Mayor Dominic Farinha noted that Patterson’s architectural history, the California mission style is important to maintain in future development, especially downtown. He mentioned that the architectural flare could be improved, and asked that there be some reconsideration of the decoration as, “it looks like a detention facility.” Farinha also said that he would like the plans to include a basement to further increase usable space.

City Manager, Ken Irwin clarified that the design presented is a “very preliminary look.” Approval of the feasibility study allows the city to move toward the design phase. Taking into consideration council members’ input the feasibility study would be reviewed and more in depth architectural drawings would be presented in the future.

The planned site is in the same location as the current Patterson Police Services building located on South Del Puerto Avenue, south of City Hall. PPS will need to relocate during construction but where they will go has yet to be determined.

Councilmember Shivaugn Alves echoed the sentiments of Farinha in regard to his preference for including a basement and the lack of congruous mission style design that City Hall displays. Alves also remarked that she would like to see some renewable energy options utilized, potentially on the rooftop. She also asked if any other location had been considered for the future center. Without directly answering her question, it was explained that the choice was made to construct on the same site to maintain the centralized hub between PPS, PFD and City Hall.

The administration office for PFD is currently located inside station one on Las Palmas Avenue. The building holds historical qualities that the city wants to maintain therefore it is not expected to undergo any major construction. Specific site plans have not been released but station one will see some improvements, specifically noted, of the dormitory.

Utilizing current square footage measurements of both departments, and after factoring in anticipated future growth the new facility is expected to tip the scales at just under 20,000 square feet of usable space; a dramatic increase over the combined 6,000 square feet that the police services and fire administration currently utilize.

The planned two-story building includes a second floor breezeway that will connect the center to City Hall. Councilmember Cynthia Homen asked for clarification of the need for the bridge. Capital Projects Manager Tiffany Rodriguez explained that some areas on the second floor such as office and storage space may be utilized as a kind of ‘overflow’ for City Hall. Thus the bridge between the buildings will afford more efficient communication, improved security, and ease of access between facilities where there may be shared use by City Hall employees

Councilmember Al Parham commented that if there is to be shared space he would appreciate access to a meeting room that councilmembers may use to meet with constituents as there currently is no area of City Hall that is utilized for meetings with the public.

Increased employee safety, and the prevention of vandalism of city owned vehicles will be afforded by the security fence with private gate access that will surround the facilities.

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