This new 23,400-square-foot training facility for the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office included classrooms, physical defense training area, locker rooms, weight training room, offices, recruiting office, break room, laundry room, a weapons simulation training room, garage space for specialized police tactical vehicles, armory, and ammunition storage. Williamson County owned the land for this project, and the site is adjacent to a live-ammunition shooting range also owned by Williamson County. Prior to construction of this facility, law enforcement training for the county was held across multiple older sites, including portable buildings. This facility represents a unified training solution for the county.
The training facility will be used for quiet classroom training, loud physical training, and simulator training under the same roof at the same time. Full acoustic separation of the spaces was very important. Several unique components were used to ensure that sound did not travel between spaces, including sound walls to deck, with 3-4 layers of gypsum board, CMU sound walls to deck with 2 layers of gypsum board in simulator rooms, back-to-back sound walls with complete separation of space, vibration isolation in the suspended slab (achieved by using physical breaks in the slab), sound doors with vestibules between spaces, acoustical-insulation-lined ductwork, acoustical wall and ceiling panels, and high-NRC ceiling tiles.
The project team did an excellent job at using their knowledge base to overcome project site constraints. This building is constructed over soils that are highly expansive during wet seasons. To accommodate this geology, the original design called for a suspended hollow core plank design with a crawl space that contained gravel with an 8% slope towards the center of the building. While the intention with the design was valid, it did not create a hospitable work environment due to excessive rains. The project team modified the crawlspace to have a 2′ concrete mud slab with a 2% slope towards the center of the building. This allowed the mud slab to be poured as soon as the piers were complete, providing a safe, clean workspace. In addition, by lowering the slope, greater head clearance was created below the slab which both provided a more comfortable work environment for MEP crews during construction and ensured easier maintenance in the future by the end user.
The project team ran a water line and extended existing water service (12″ pipe) approximately one mile from and through the existing gun range to the new building. Lines were run through the existing shooting facility and across an active creek with erosion controls in place. This utility extension required careful coordination with Williamson County, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and the local utility provider- Jonah S.U.D.- to accomplish.