CROFT Transforms Vacant Warehouse into State-of-the-Art Public Safety Training Facility for Cobb County

March 31, 2021
Adaptive reuse project converts 117,000 sq. ft. building into an all-in-one training space for cadets. Also includes space for community meetings and public events.

Kennesaw, GA – March 29, 2021 – CROFT & Associates’ team of architects and engineers provided programming, needs assessment and full architectural and engineering services for Cobb County’s recently completed Public Safety Training Facility. CROFT worked in full partnership with Cobb County Property Management.

The facility is housed in the 117,000-square-foot former BJ’s facility located on the East-West Connector in Cobb County. The main objective of the adaptive reuse project was to provide the Cobb County Police Department with ample space to meet its current and future needs for cadet training. The facility is already drawing attention locally and nationally for its comprehensive approach and state-of-the-art design. “It was a pleasure to work alongside the Police Training personnel to ensure that all the necessary spaces were provided to allow for the most complete training opportunities,” said Earl Smith, CROFT architect and senior project manager. “This space will ensure all cadets are exposed and experienced in handling real life scenarios in a controlled environment under the watchful eye of their instructor.”

Training Labs & Real-World Streetscape

The expansive training area includes five labs. Two tactical training labs contain the defense training modules. There are also two virtual simulation training studios outfitted with the latest video technology. The fifth lab, the teaching crime lab, allows for cadet training on how to properly process a crime scene. This area also provides much-needed evidence storage, which accommodates expanded control of the secure and proper handling of evidence.

The central feature of the training area is the streetscape training course. The streetscape’s presence within the facility allows for training to be monitored and observed in a controlled environment. With the various facilities along the streetscape, cadets can be trained in many “real world” scenarios they might face once on duty. The streetscape models a city block and includes a functional house, convenience store, bank, restaurant and a courthouse where actual scenarios can be simulated. The 175-foot-streetscape can also accommodate the use of patrol cars as needed, which will allow for routine procedures, such as traffic stops, to be replicated without leaving the facility.  Above the streetscape is a cat-walk system that gives instructors the ability to view and control situations during the cadet training and evaluation.

To fully meet the extensive needs of a cadet during training, cadets will also have access to a physical rehabilitation space, individual fitness testing room, showers and a full gym, which will be accessible to active officers as well.

Administrative Wing & Public Gathering Spaces

The administrative area includes offices and conference space for instructors and support staff as well as a breakroom and restrooms with showers. Several multi-functional classroom spaces are also housed in this area that can be used for cadet training or additional staff training as needed.

The County wanted to also ensure accessibility of the facility to the general public and included in the design a number of public gathering spaces: a community room, public restrooms and a 300-seat tiered auditorium that can be used for public events or for additional training. The public space was designed to allow for activities to occur while maintaining a secure separation of the training and administration area.

The project is being funded by a combination of allocations from the Cobb County general fund and its 2016 SPLOST.

ABOUT CROFT & Associates

CROFT, founded in 2004, is a full-service architecture and engineering firm headquartered in Kennesaw, Georgia with a second office location in Lawrenceville, Georgia. CROFT completes over 100 projects each year for clients nationwide in more than 40 states and provides in-house design services that include: architecture; interior design; mechanical, electrical, plumbing and energy engineering; construction administration; and program management.  CROFT’s team of architects and engineers are experienced in leading complex design projects with construction on budgets of more than $115 million.  CROFT’s portfolio includes repeat work for clients including Cobb County Government, Cobb County School District (CCSD), Cobb County Parks & Recreation, National Park Services, Dobbins Air Reserve Base and Gwinnett County Government. CROFT is a privately-owned organization with a strong history of philanthropy.  www.croftae.com .

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