Previewing the 2024 Station Design Conference

May 20, 2024
The 2024 Station Design Conference has a lot to offer attendees working toward building a new public safety facility.

The annual Station Design Conference, presented by OFFICER and Firehouse magazines, offers a unique learning and networking experience for officials who are actively involved in designing a new law enforcement facility or fire station. The SDC is focused on providing attendees with information on the latest trends in the design and construction of state-of-the-art facilities.

The 2024 SDC will take place at the Renaissance Phoenix Glendale Hotel in Glendale, Arizona, with 1-on-One Sessions held May 20 and the main conference and exposition held May 21-23. More than 80 architecture firms and companies that provide goods and services focused on the needs of public safety facilities will be exhibiting and presenting at the conference. Following the 2023 SDC, which was held in St. Louis, 100% of attendees rated their experience as Exceptional/Very Good/Good, while 99% of attendees indicated that they would recommend the Station Design Conference to a colleague. 

The SDC’s 1-on-One Sessions help public safety officials receive feedback and guidance on their facility design plans from a group of nationally recognized architects from across the country. The 1-on-One Sessions will begin at 10 a.m. and include an opening presentation and Q&A panel, short seminars and the 45-minute small-group sessions.

Tuesday, May 21 begins with the welcome and opening remarks and a general session by Ken Newell from Stewart-Cooper-Newell Architects. Newell will present “Where Do I Start? Planning a Successful Public Safety Facility,” which will introduce the audience to the foundational components necessary for the planning, design, and construction of a great fire or police station. 

As with past years, the conference will be broken into different tracks. Track 2 will be the Law Enforcement Track. Some of the sessions will include general information for all attendees but will all pertain to topics that will be of high importance to law enforcement attendees. Jeffrey R. McElravy, Matt Salad and Rebecca Hopkins from Tecton Architects present “There’s Never Been a Worse Time to Build, But There Won’t Ever Be a Better Time” as the opening session of the Law Enforcement Track. The trio will discuss how it may feel like there has never been a worse time to build a station; and yet, as construction costs continue to escalate and police facilities become more complex, there will never be a better time than today to get started. 

On Wednesday, Evan Gray from MW Studios will present “Gun Smoke! - Firing Range Planning 101.” When designed and constructed correctly, a well-functioning, contemporary firing range will provide law enforcement personnel with a level of training that prepares them to tackle their communities' ever-evolving challenges. The presentation will provide an overview of the fundamental planning surrounding the creation of these distinctive and important facilities. 

At the conclusion of the conference on Thursday, attendees will be able to take a tour of the nearby Glendale Regional Public Safety Training Center. The facility, which opened in April 2007 and is also known as GRPSTC, includes a full range of facilities needed to train new firefighters and specialty training facilities to fine-tune the skills of veteran fire and police officers.

If your agency is in the process of building a new facility or planning to build one in the next few years, make sure to check out this year’s conference. Tim Wiley, a principal with emersion DESIGN shared his thoughts on why he thinks the SDC is a special event. "Station Design Conference is a great resource for any department starting a new station or renovation project. The wealth of knowledge all in one place and at one time is unbelievable.” 

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