The Virginia State Police will soon begin driver training in a new $27.4 million complex set on 680 acres near Fort Pickett, just outside the town of Blackstone. Designed by Dewberry and constructed by KBS Inc., the facility includes 4.5 miles of urban, rural, and interstate roadway courses that simulate Virginia topography; a three-story, 52,000-sf training and dormitory building; an observation tower; and a vehicle maintenance garage.
The new training tracks feature a variety of road configurations, including a cloverleaf ramp, city intersections, interstate acceleration lanes, a roundabout, railroad tracks, a 25,000-sf skidpan, cul-de-sacs, and a 342,000-sf precision-driving course. The facility enables the police to combine behind-the-wheel training with simulations and classroom instruction at one site.
The training building includes 60 squad rooms that accommodate up to 120 cadets, theater-style classrooms, a cafeteria, offices, meeting space, and a driver simulation room with 550 LE Interactive Driving Simulation Systems that model the cockpit of a police cruiser.
Construction of a new firing range is set to begin this spring. The building was also designed to serve as an alternate emergency operations center for the Virginia State Police.
Design of the building combines brick, precast architectural block, and glass curtainwall. “The architecture reflects the modern, state-of-the-art training approach provided by the Virginia State Police, with a streamlined academic aesthetic in the materials and vertical elements,” says Larry Hasson, AIA, who led the architectural design team for Dewberry. In addition to architecture, Dewberry provided interior design and mechanical/electrical, structural, civil, and environmental engineering. +