Columbus Public Safety Wellness Center

Jan. 31, 2024

This facility was named a Notable in the Public Safety Centers category for the 2023 Officer Station Design Awards.

Official Project Name: Columbus Public Safety Wellness Center

Project City/State: Columbus, OH

Date Completed: April 1, 2022

Chief/Director: Project Manager Michael Jones

Project Area (sq.ft.): 5,645

Total Cost: $2,861,192

Cost Per Square Foot: $506.85

Architect/Firm Name: Mull & Weithman Architects

City/State: Columbus, OH

Phone: (614) 267-6960

Website: mw-architects.com

Design Team: Bradley Mull, Joe Weithman, Joe Malone, & Alexis Gauthier - Mull & Weithman Architects, Inc. (Architecture), Korda/Nemeth (Civil & Structural Engineering), Advanced Engineering Consultants (MEPFT)

Project Description

“Promoting opportunities for optimal wellness and resiliency for Columbus first responders to enable them to best serve the community.” Mission Statement

The City of Columbus has recognized that first responders are at a greater risk of physical and mental ailments due to the stressful nature of their occupations and correspondingly, committed to creating a Public Safety Wellness Center, to serve Police, Fire, & Dispatch Professionals. To this end, the C.O.C. Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is working closely with Police & Fire Peer Groups & Department Chaplains, to assist the first responders and their families with resources and support.

The resulting Wellness Center is in a 6,000 sf, former library building in a tranquil park setting. To create the required space and provide flexibility for future growth and developing new programs, the project included a complete gut of the interior with the primary focus of providing spaces that offer flexibility and can serve multiple purposes, accommodating many different scenarios. The new Center is designed to provide space for Police, Fire, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), and Chaplains. The facility includes space for one-on-one counseling sessions, a quiet room, a larger classroom for group sessions, an exterior meditation patio, a physical fitness room, and an office to be used as a future podcast booth for recording programs that support the facility’s mission statement.

As an example of the multi-use space, the physical fitness room is currently used as a yoga studio, physical rehabilitation exercise, an after-incident adrenaline release, a meditation space, and can be used as an overflow meeting space.

The exterior upgrades include security fencing with access control, and envelope improvements, including clerestory glazing that provides a connection with nature. The facility maintains a low profile with no signage or other identification to protect the anonymity of visitors and staff.

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