The Lincoln City Police Department closely partners with the greater community to serve its residents and tourists along the Oregon Coast. Located within an ambulance building built in the 1960s, its headquarters sat on a heavily wooded, sloped site. When an independent study revealed this space needed to be more recognized, the City began creating a modern facility to meet population and police department growth requirements through 2047.
Once the design team was selected, a robust programming effort between this team, City Council, and police staff identified key goals. The project needed to maximize communication and efficiencies between personnel, minimize distractions of more active functions, and properly welcome visitors.
Community input, site conditions, security requirements, and economic impact influenced creative design solutions not typically seen in a public safety building. Resident outreach led to an “origin story” that inspired the aesthetic. The challenging site offered limited access points that made it difficult to separate communal spaces and secure zones. And because the existing station had to maintain critical operations during construction, this limited the buildable area for construction.
As with any project, budget is a significant factor. Performing commercial construction on the coast significantly increased costs, leading the team to choose prefabricated systems, including cross-laminated timber (CLT) and unit fiberglass windows. This also impacted exterior cladding. While masonry is commonly used in police stations, the architects proved that a concrete tile and solid CLT wall combination met the required ballistic performance. (Yes, the police department tested a mock-up portion of the wall during target practice.) Additional material choices meet the resiliency demands of the harsh coastal environment and collectively create a warm environment.
The new facility supports the day-to-day department needs and serves as an Emergency Operation Center—remaining operational in the aftermath of an earthquake or other natural disaster. A beacon of civic service, the building will allow the Lincoln City Police Department to carry on its mission to maintain human rights and protect its citizens.