SEMRECC RIBBON CUTTING ~ APRIL 16, 2021
After completion of the initial feasibility/space needs study, Kaestle Boos renovated a former AT&T longline communication site into the new communications center. The center not only utilizes a unique property well suited for communication but also rehabilitates a property that had become a nuisance for law enforcement and the Department of Conservation and Recreation as it sits within a state forest. The building is designed to address both the technical and social/emotional riggers associated with emergency communications.
The District’s goals were to provide a modern, professional, safe and resilient but also healthy and calming work environment for the staff to optimally service the member communities. This state of the art communications center is surrounded by administrative, training, technology equipment, and recovery which were also requirements of the program. Built to allow for future expansion, the center opened with ten call-taking and dispatch positions but has infrastructure to accommodate up to 20 positions with only minor modifications.
The design takes cues from the original monolithic form but modernizes and refines it to reflect the new operations. Connecting the building occupants with the surrounding natural landscape was a unique challenge. The original hardened structure made it necessary to create protected openings to bring in natural light, and afford some views. In the communications center, a large roof monitor was created, allowing for defuse northern light to illuminate the space, ensuring the natural and artificial lighting worked together to create an energy efficient “glare-free” work environment. Due to the remote location, domestic water treatment, fire protection water storage, and sewage disposal are all resolved on-site.
Completed on time during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the project was funded by a State 911 Department Regional Development Grant.