Facilities Study

The City is conducting a study of its facilities to better understand and plan for long-term building needs. The goal is to determine how the facilities can best serve the community while maximizing opportunities for a future downtown Golden Valley. The study process will include identifying the City’s space needs for its various operations, facilitation of a community task force, and a phasing plan for improvements.

The study was prompted by a number of factors:

  • The Public Safety building and Fire Stations 2 and 3 don't meet standards for gender equity and a needed Fire Department staffing model change to enhance response times.
  • The Public Works facilities are spread among three buildings on the City campus and a building on 10th Ave, which creates inefficiencies as well as safety concerns in the business district.
  • City Hall's layout doesn't efficiently support the services provided inside. Like the other buildings, it is outdated and does not meet the City's current or future operational needs.
  • A recent study of the downtown area identified opportunities for private development at the northeast quadrant of Golden Valley Rd and Winnetka Ave, where the City Hall campus is located.

By establishing a detailed strategy for future improvements, the City will be able to plan for reinvesting in its facilities, work with stakeholders, and take advantage of opportunities that emerge.

+ Long-Term Reinvestment Plan

Investment in City facilities is a significant decision that has financial implications in terms of capital outlay and operational expenses. Additionally, such buildings have significant influence on the social and civic fabric of a community, necessitating careful thought and thorough stakeholder and community engagement. Changes, challenges, and conflicts have emerged over the years that affect the building's intended use and the efficiency of services provided.

Public Safety Operational Changes

Golden Valley's Public Safety buildings all have limited space for training, storage, and operations and lack the appropriate facilities to accommodate different genders equitably. The Public Safety building on the City campus houses both the Police and Fire Departments. Fire Station 2 (Laurel Ave and Turners Crossroad) and Fire Station 3 (Golden Valley Rd and Bonnie Lane) are remote locations to serve other parts of Golden Valley.

Golden Valley's fire stations were established to support a paid on-call staffing structure, which is becoming unsustainable in today's society. To provide the community with adequate response times, a recent study concluded that Golden Valley Fire Department operations should transition from paid on-call staffing to a duty crew structure, which allows scheduled staffing and 24-hour support of a two-station model. Full-time staffing could be considered in the future. The department currently operates duty crews when call volumes are higher.

Public Works Operational Conflicts

The Public Works facilities are housed in three different buildings on campus and lack equitable facilities for different genders. Building sizes and configurations create inefficiencies and do not accommodate modern vehicles and equipment well. The movement of large equipment often conflicts with other activities and services on campus and in the downtown area. An unheated storage facility and storage yard are located off site.

City Hall Service Challenges

Instead of being a prominent community destination, City Hall is set back from Winnetka Ave and Golden Valley Road, largely out of view. Although recent interior improvements have been made, the building is dated, with a main corridor that separates operations and does not accommodate the public well. Besides general municipal business functions, the City's busy DMV service center also operates out of City Hall.

+ Facilities Study Task Force

The Facilities Study Task Force will work with the City’s architectural consultant and a staff steering committee to provide insight and feedback for the facilities study discussion. The City Council will approve the Task Force membership as well as its mission and directives. The Task Force will be comprised of 10–12 stakeholders, including residents, business community members, and institutional representatives.

  • Residents (4-5) representing:
    • different geographic locations within the city
    • diverse backgrounds and ages
    • varied tenure in the community
    • both property owners and renters
  • Business community members (2–3) representing:
    • a large employer
    • a small business
    • an institution or non-profit
  • One City Council and one Planning Commission representative to:
    • chair the Task Force and provide a land use perspective.
  • At-large members (1-2) who:
    • do not meet the above criteria or fit into one of the categories, but who provide a unique and valuable perspective to the discussion

The Task Force is no longer accepting applications.

+ Future Downtown Development Opportunities

The City campus area sits at the northeast quadrant of Winnetka Ave and Golden Valley Rd, which is a desirable location that could be better configured to incorporate private investment and support businesses and activities in the downtown area. The City wishes to create a long-term plan for a phased approach to develop new facilities on a portion of its current campus, relocate Public Works operations, and make portions of the site available for private investment. An important principle guiding location decisions is keeping City Hall in the downtown area to attract and support civic, social, and business activity.

The City is in the middle of the third and final phase of a Downtown Study, which includes several concepts for how this might be accomplished. Collaboration with the Hennepin County Library to construct a shared facility is a potential opportunity. Other opportunities may also exist with the County or the Minnesota Department of Transportation.