Robert J Curry Public Safety Center
City of Gulfport
Gulfport, MS 39501
Project Start Date: 03/01/2009
Project Completion Date: 04/01/2011
Total Project Cost: $22 million
Square Footage: 73,500 SF
FEMA Funding: $8.4 million
953 Highway 51
Madison, MS 39110
When the original Gulfport Police Station was destroyed in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina, the Gulfport Police Department had to conduct their services from temporary stations provided by FEMA. The new Robert J. Curry Public Safety Center – named in commemoration of Lieutenant Robert J. Curry, who died in the line of duty in 2008 – opened in February 2011 and provides the city of Gulfport with essential municipal services.
The 73,500 square foot, three-story complex covers an entire city block and is home to the Police Community Services, Municipal Courts and Police Administration. The building features a structural steel frame with architectural precast exterior walls and a large missile impact window system. It houses two state-of-the-art municipal courtrooms, as well as the police headquarters and processing center staffed by 150 police officers and administrative staff for the City of Gulfport, MS.
The safety center is built to FEMA 361 design and construction guidance for community shelters and can withstand the stringent 200 mph wind requirements. It is also used as a first responder shelter to house more than 275 personnel for pre and post-disaster functions. The project consisted of 563 pieces of over 68,000 SF of exterior cladding most of which are 8” thick architectural precast concrete walls.
The FEMA funding included a Public Assistance Grant of more than $2.8 million and a Hazard Mitigation Grant of more than $5.6 million. Measures to make the center more resistant to future damages include: impact resistant glass, water storage tank, back-up sewer storage, emergency generators, structural strengthening, strengthened roof membrane and copings, and encapsulated external air conditioning condensing units with louvers to protect against wind driven debris. A contained air quality assurance unit to mitigate outside contaminants from entering the building was also installed and the facility is elevated above the 500-year flood plain.
The innovative complex is self-supporting in the event of power failure. During an electrical outage, the building’s sewer service, climate control system and electrical system will continue to function independently for up to 36 hours.