SARASOTA COUNTY — Sarasota County commissioners will hold a workshop Tuesday to discuss the uses and future planning of county facilities — including a proposed new public safety complex that would share land with the new $15.1 million Emergency Operations Center in Sarasota.
Sheriff’s officials have been looking to make a move from the SCSO’s downtown Sarasota location. Earlier this year, commissioners approved Sheriff Tom Knight’s relocation plan to Cattlemen Road and Porter Way in Sarasota, where a new public safety campus would be built on county-owned property. A map of the proposed campus shows the previously approved 38,000-square-foot EOC; a three-story, 120,000-square-foot administrative office; a two-story, 25,000-square-foot building that would house both the medical examiner and forensics; a two-story, 30,000-square-foot training facility that also could be used by fire and EMS personnel; and a three-story parking structure that would provide 416 spaces and added security for the department’s fleet of vehicles. It would not contain a jail. Officials have said that plan could cost as much as $72 million, depending on whether it is built in stages. According to the county, the low-rise plan allows for phased construction and keeps critical functions at ground level for increased operational efficiency. It also simplifies community access to services and has a building height consistent with neighboring structure. Drawbacks include the complex eating up more usable land area and potential stormwater drainage challenges.
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