Atoka Municipal Complex Project
Atoka Municipal Complex Project
In 2007, after two decades of significant growth in our community, the Town began to think about the long-term needs of municipal operations. A part of that discussion revolved around the facilities needed to serve the public and how to most efficiently operate municipal services. The Town took over water system maintenance in 2008, founded the Parks Department in 2011 and launched the Atoka Fire Department in 2014 - all adding to the space needs of the Town in delivering high quality, cost effective services to our community.
In 2008, the Town began assembling land adjacent to Town Hall for the facility needs we saw coming in the future. Between 2008 and 2010, the Town spent $599,000 to acquire four lots behind the current Town Hall facility - bringing the total land owned by the Town at its present location to more than 4.3 acres.
In 2011, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen continued the discussion by asking three questions.
- Do we have space needs today and/or do we foresee space needs in the future ?
- If yes, are there short term, temporary steps we can take to meet these needs while a long term solution in developed ?
- If yes, what steps should be taken to meet these needs for the long term ?
From those questions, the space needs became clear. The Parks & Recreation Director, hired in 2011, was working from a folding table in the Board room. The Police Department had command staff sharing space in what used to be closets. The Town Recorder - a position that deals with the finances and personnel records of the Town - was working in a room that was not private or secure and the Public Works Director was housed in a utility closet in the garage area. Clearly, something had to be done.
In October, 2011, the Town took steps to answer the second and third question as posed above.
First, to address the short term issues, the Town began renting commercial space on Wesley Reed Drive and relocated the Atoka Police Department to that site. The rental space created breathing room in Town Hall and allowed the Town to continue to effectively meet its obligations to the public while also providing the space needed for staff to discharge their duties.
Second, the Town engaged Fisher-Arnold, Inc. to assist in developing a master plan for the Town Hall site. Of the 4.3 acres owned by the Town, more than half of that land - some 2.4 acres - remained entirely unused. While selecting and acquiring a new site for future facilities was an option, the master plan process addressed how to best use our existing land - land that the Town had already invested nearly $600,000 in to acquire.
In March, 2012, the Town submitted an application for a FEMA Safe Room grant. The facility, as envisioned, would provide shelter space in the event of a tornado or post-event shelter space for other disasters. Along with its purpose as a safe room, the facility would be the permanent home to the Atoka Police Department. Later that year, the Town was awarded a grant for $1.3M to help build the safe room facility.
Between late 2012 and throughout 2013 and 2014, the Board hosted a series of open meetings and took various actions related to the project. Those meetings and actions included a review of the master plan, execution of contract documents related to the grant, engaging Fisher-Arnold to complete the design on the project, reviewing the size and scope of the Fire Department Facility and selecting a general contractor for the project.
On February 3, 2015, the Town hosted a public forum at Gateway Baptist Church to review the project and solicit public feedback. Residents had the opportunity to review the plans, ask questions, interact with Town elected officials and staff and discuss the needs going forward.
The Planned Facilities
Town Hall - A new, 6,300 sq. ft. facility to house Administration, Utility Billing, Parks & Recreation and Code Enforcement. The facility will also provide conference room space for public use and a single entrance with a transaction counter to handle all public interactions.
Police Station / Safe Room - Connected to the north end of Town Hall, the 9,900 sq. ft. facility will be a dual purpose space - providing a permanent home for the Atoka PD and doubling as a safe room space. Also within the building will be the Board Chambers - a space that will serve as the meeting place of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, the Municipal Court, and will also be available for public use.
Fire Headquarters - Further north on the site, the 6,000 sq. ft. Atoka FD headquarters will be a three-bay facility with sleeping and day space for a fire company and the Rural-Metro ambulance crew.
Photos of all three facility plans are available below. Click here
to review some frequently asked questions about the project.