Construction to begin soon on Pratt County Public Safety Center

Gale Rose
Kelly McMurphy, architect for Landmark Architects, presents artists renderings of the new Pratt County Public Safety Center, currently under development, to the Pratt County Commissioners at their Jan. 21 meeting.

Plans for the new Pratt County Public Safety Center are coming together and a tentative time line puts the start of construction sometime in April.

Wayne Scritchfield, municipal engineer for Kirkham Michael, consulting engineers for Pratt County, presented a progress report to the Pratt County Commissioners at their Jan. 21 meeting.

The tentative time line allows for 16 months construction with a possible completion date in June 2021 depending on contractors, supplies, weather and other factors, Scritchfield said.

Other tentative project dates include a footings report on Feb. 10, a pre-bid meeting on Feb. 25, opening bids on March 19, supplemental bids on March 23 with a possible ground breaking in the middle of April. A total cost of the projects is still in the works.

The new Emergency Center will house Pratt County EMS, Pratt County Fire and Rescue and Emergency Operations Center.

Kelly McMurphy, municipal engineer for Landmark Architecture, presented plans for the building. The structure will include a pair of hardened rooms that will be built to withstand 250 mph winds of an EF 5 Tornado. A 50 feet by 50 feet training and conference room can hold 170 people in a classroom set up or 130 for round tables. Ample storage space is available for equipment, shower room, laundry, secure room for voting machines, living quarters for EMS, an emergency generator will provide power in the event of a power failure and an antenna tower for communications.

The plans allow for expanding the building in the future if necessary.

Plans for the new facility will eventually be put on public display in a county building that will be located on the north side of east U.S. 54 on the east side of Pratt and on the west side of NE 20th Avenue.

Scritchfield shared updates on water line location and pressure to assure fire trucks would have an adequate water supply for fire trucks to refill during a fire situation. There will be three fire hydrants on the property with water meters. The City is interested future extension of the water line for other use.

To avoid any issues with the Kansas Department of Transportation right of way and a fiber optic cable buried there, Scritchfield wants a 10 foot easement onto the county property. Tyson Eisenhauer, county counselor said he would work on legal aspect of the easement.

A section of NE 20th Avenue that connects from U.S. 54 to the emergency center will be paved.

Scritchfield said they would work with KDOT for the access permit which should be fairly easy. Plans for the access call for very little change to the highway but provide a nice, clean edge where it cuts into the asphalt. The design of the road plans will save the county $10,000 because it keeps out of KDOT traffic control. It will also be able to accommodate anything that uses the road.

“We’re not changing the grade of the road significantly,” Scritchfield said.

A lagoon system will be used for sewage as opposed to a leach field. While a lagoon will require mowing and eventually have to be mucked out, it will be able to handle the maximum number of people in the facility no matter how ofter the limit is reached.

Other issues presented to the commissioners was builders risk insurance,