Mankato Public Safety Center
Mankato, MN | Government + Cultural
The City of Mankato renovated the former county jail to house its police and fire stations in one downtown location.
In order to better serve City residents, the City of Mankato needed a new public safety center that housed several departments and reduced response times throughout the community.
The Mankato Public Safety Center was converted from the county jail to bring staff from both the police and fire stations together at one downtown location. The new location is better positioned to optimize response times throughout much of the community. Since the existing structure for the Public Safety Center was formerly a jail, the stone walls had very few windows. Multiple new window openings were added to the exterior to provide natural light to the new office spaces. The interior also required extensive renovations that include upgrading the heating and ventilation system, removing asbestos, and adjusting the layout to fit workflow.
The updated building houses a shared training room that can double as an emergency operations center, and interview rooms to offer privacy to individuals who want to make a report, or for witnesses to give sensitive information. Records rooms and evidence rooms were designed for proper ventilation and security. The addition of a parking ramp will help protect public safety vehicles against damage and weather conditions. Living quarters for public safety staff that work in 24-hour shifts includes dorms with separate sleeping rooms, and a fire pole that allows quick access to the fire vehicles. A shared fitness center helps police and fire staff to keep in shape for their health and jobs. Specially designed areas throughout the building aim to assist in operating, maintaining and repairing safety equipment in the most efficient manner possible including air tank refill room, medical decontamination room, fire hose cleaning and storage, as well as a vehicle repair bay.
This project is LEED Gold-certified and some of the significant sustainable goals included community connectivity, building reuse, material reuse, and water and energy efficiency. Other features included use of locally quarried Kasota stone, a retaining wall that allows water to pass through it; and cell bars that were repurposed and integrated into the handrail design. Solar panels installed on the roof can generate about 40 kilowatts of power for the facility and is saving the City about $5,000 per year in utility costs. With a fifty-foot training tower, the new Mankato Public Safety Center also serves as a downtown gateway that showcases the combined forces of the Mankato fire and police departments.