The City of Waukee’s decommissioned fire station was only used for storage when the municipality issued an RFP for a concept design to convert the building to a community center. Officials in the rapidly growing suburb sought to retrofit the midcentury building into a meeting room, a senior room, public restrooms + kitchen facilities.
This building’s location on the edge of the historic downtown provided the opportunity to tie into open green space. We envisioned adding a modern “front porch” that would provide a front door to the main street, shelter visitors in inclement weather + serve as a stage for community events. Bands could play “on the porch” during Jazz in July. Stretching fabric across the porch frame could create a movie screen for an outdoor movie venue.
We worked with the varied user groups to leverage all opportunities so the building would meet the community’s vision. The project incorporates the city’s new downtown design guidelines + energy efficient elements. City officials project that the retrofitted building will save money, as previously the city had rented space for a community center. The completed project provides a new connection to the main street in old Waukee. During Waukee Fest, pedestrians could easily flow into the space to provide another event space. The community rooms have been used for City Council Meetings, Park and Rec. classes, wedding receptions and other public group gatherings. It brings the community together.