Highpoint Police Training Tower
Highpoint, North Carolina
Engineering, based in Nampa Idaho, recently completed the design for a new
training facility for the City of High Point, North Carolina. This training
tower will be located at the existing police shooting range in High Point.
Captain Kenneth Shultz from the High Point Police Department asked Leavitt
Engineering to help him design a shooting platform; however, he also wanted
the structure to be versatile to include rappelling, rock climbing and other
obstacles for training purposes. Project manager, J. Reese Leavitt,
P.E./S.E. told Captain Shultz, “We can easily incorporate ladders, trap
doors, scuttles, access hatches, cantilevered platforms, doors, windows,
openings, a rope climb, obstacles, slides, a fire pole, helipad, or whatever
your heart or mind can conceive or desires.” Based on Captain Shultz’s
description of what he needed we initially developed and provided detailed
conceptual hand sketches within a week
Police training towers are used to screen new job applicants to determine if
they have the physical capabilities required to complete the unique tasks
police officers perform. Various screening courses can be setup to test and
measure applicant’s abilities to perform different types of tasks. Courses
can be utilized to test, time and rank competing applicants.
Training towers are used to teach employees new skills and improve their
existing abilities. Courses can measure employee’s physical condition and
ability to perform required tasks.
They may also be used for team building opportunities. Courses can be
designed with various tasks where teams are required to work together to
solve problems to plan, execute and complete course tasks as a group.
Training towers can also be used to test employee’s abilities to continue to
perform required skills. Various training courses can measure and rank
employee’s performance and abilities. The course can be used to determine
when an existing employee no longer has the physical abilities to perform
certain basic tasks required for some job descriptions and responsibilities.
Various floor surfaces were proposed including concrete, synthetic wood and
steel grating to simulate office, commercial, and industrial conditions.
Synthetic wood, metal siding, brick and roof element surfaces for rappelling
and climbing where suggested too replicate different types of wall surface
conditions which may be encountered in the field. Ladders, cantilevered
platforms, gates, trap doors, windows and other devices were added to
provide simulated emergency ingress and egress under various access
alternatives for training course and team building opportunities.
The training tower was designed as an open concentrically braced steel frame
with an interior stair tower providing access to four training floors or
levels. A three-dimensional structural frame design and analysis program, “Risa
3D”, was used to design and model the structure. The design can be easily
modified in a 3D structural analysis model to add or remove training
“Revit” by Autodesk was used to graphically display the building design
model. A graphic model allows the user to quickly and easily visualize,
revise, and pull data from the design model to implement design review and
design changes. The graphic model also allows the designer, engineer and
owner to review and analyze the model as the design progresses. Surprises
are eliminated when clients can visually see the building model before
construction begins. Design changes and corrections can be reviewed in the
graphic model which leads to a more efficient and cost effective design.
Design efficiency is what we strive for.
Leavitt Engineering provided a conservative cost estimate as the design was
completed to insure the proposed design would meet budget requirements.
Leavitt’s cost estimate was $168,500 which was within the City of High
Points budget of $180,000. Bid alternates and adders included galvanized
structural steel, ladders, platforms and trap doors. Six qualifying bids
were received by the City of High Point with a low bid of $116,600 and a
high bid of $168,000. The City of High Point was very happy the bids were
well within their budget and Leavitt Engineering was happy their
conservative cost estimate was on the high side of the bid range. Because of
the favorable bid response, the City of High Point was able to include all
of the bid alternates and adders in their project. No requests for
additional information or clarification where requested from Leavitt
Engineering during the bidding process. Leavitt Engineering has found that
simple, clear and concise drawings, details and specifications make projects
easier for clients and contractors to understand and build and benefit the
client with lower cost bids.
Captain Shultz had negotiated with several contractors over a period of two
years trying to develop a design plan which met his training needs and fit
within his budget. Leavitt Engineering was able to help Captain Shultz
develop this plan which accomplished his training objectives; prepare
drawings, calculations and specifications; and offer this project for bids
in just a few months.
The structure was designed with versatility to allow for future alterations
to accommodate changing training requirements. Captain Shultz commented, ‘We
have added two rope attachment points under the cantilever platform for rope
climbing, added two attachment points on the third floor so we can go out
the door on the rappel wall side as an intermediate level for guys new to
rappelling and we added two trap doors so we can fast rope from the third
level through the two grated floors to the ground level. We are very pleased
with all the training options this structure provides us. We have been using
left over funds budgeted for this project to pay for these additions.”
Captain Shultz commented, “We are very pleased with the architectural and
engineering work provided by Leavitt & Associates Engineers, Inc. They were
easy to work with and they were able to take my ideas and put them onto
paper. After actually constructing the tower, the product is performing as
expected and is providing us with a vast amount of training opportunities
which we will be able to use to make our officers safer and more effective.
Thank you for working with us to make this project successful.”
Leavitt Engineering has designed training towers and inclined walls for
rappelling, rock climbing and fast roping for military installations
throughout the US. Recent projects have been completed at Fort Richardson
Alaska and the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.
Leavitt Engineering’s website,
www.leavittengineers.com, allows them to show their design capability
worldwide and the internet and modern technologies help them to communicate,
design and build projects around the world.
Leavitt Engineering has business licenses and is licensed to practice
engineering in all fifty states and Canada. Leavitt Engineering consults and
provides engineering solutions worldwide.