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Big police academy trains thousands of New York's finest

The Police Training Academy in Queens, N.Y., consists of a 480,000-sf academic/administration building and a 240,000-sf physical training facility, linked by an aerial pedestrian bridge.

May 27, 2016 |

A mock environment at the NYC Police Training Academy mimics a subway station, minus the grime. Photo: Eric Laignel/Eric Laignel Photography. Click here to enlarge.

They don’t call New York the Big Apple for nothing. Its new Police Training Academy is Big Apple big. At 720,000 sf, the academy can train two thousand recruits and law enforcement personnel at a time. It is arguably the most advanced self-contained facility of its kind in the world.

The 480,000-sf academic/administration building (classrooms, library, admin/faculty offices) is linked via an aerial pedestrian bridge to the 240,000-sf physical training facility (running track, tactical gymnasium, scuba pool, mock situation environments), a central utility plant, and a muster court.

New York City Police Training Academy
Queens, N.Y.

The joint venture CM of Turner Construction/STV had to build on a 35-acre city landfill in the College Point section of Queens, near LaGuardia Airport. This led to one of the most stringent environmental compliance efforts ever for a public facility in the city. Decades of household, industrial, and commercial waste had to be dug up and remediated. The entire infrastructure was propped up above the 100-year flood plain so that it could remain operational under extreme weather conditions. The project earned LEED Gold certification.

The project required 65 prime contractors and more than 300 subcontractors. To manage all this, the NYC Department of Design and Construction set up an integrated project office for 100 stakeholders. “Zones of expertise” were formed to enable disciplinary leaders—architecture, structural engineering, interior design, etc.—to communicate readily and make timely decisions. This enabled the Building Team to start work on the foundation and order almost 9,000 tons of structural steel before designs were 100% finalized. It was the first time the NYCDDC had ever used a “big room” on a project, and it worked.


In the night view of the main building, the LED light sculpture in the atrium is by Erwin Redl. Photo: Ed Hueber/Archphoto. Click to enlarge.



+Submitting firm: Turner Construction Co./STV Joint Venture (CM)
+Owner: New York City Department of Design and Construction
+Architect: Perkins+Will, with Michael Fieldman Consulting Architects
+Structural: Robert Silman Associates; Guy Nordenson and Associates Structural Engineers; Weidlinger Associates
+Civil, geotechnical consultant: Langan Engineering and Environmental Services
+MEP: WSP Global
+Interior storefront systems consultant: Permasteelisa
+Lighting consultants: Bartenbach; Hillman Dibernardo & Associates
+Land use review consultant: FXFOWLE Architects
+Landscaping consultants: Balmori Associates; HMWhite


Project size: 720,000 sf
Construction cost: confidential at client’s request 
Construction period: December 2009 to 
December 2015
Delivery method: Design-bid-build

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