Altoona City Hall and Police Station

Project Information

  • Owner

    City of Altoona

  • Location

    Altoona, IA

  • Architect

    Design Alliance

  • General Contractor

    Ryan Companies US, Inc.

  • Square Footage


When the City of Altoona chose to do a lease-purchase agreement to build a facility to house both its city hall and police station, construction value was key. Rather than doing a traditional design-bid-build process, the municipality chose a collaborative design-build process, which relies on coordination among project partners to streamline processes, expedite schedules, increase quality and reduce overall project cost.

Baker Group is responsible for designing and installing Altoona’s Mechanical and Building Automation systems.

HVAC: Optimizing 25-year cost of ownership
Separate HVAC systems are required for Altoona’s City Hall and Police Department. From four HVAC system options developed by the design team, the City of Altoona selected the Variable Air Volume – Air Handling Unit with chilled and heating water and dedicated outdoor air system. In addition to providing the lowest cost of ownership over 25 years, this option requires the least amount of electric and allows the Police Department to have a smaller generator back-up for its HVAC system.

“Special exhaust and humidification systems are required for certain areas of the police station, where testing occurs and evidence is stored,” says Rob Cross, a Baker Group Project Manager. Additionally, Baker Group is providing building automation for the HVAC as well as to monitor DNA freezer alarms.

Revit enhances design accuracy, speed and value
Baker Group is using Revit software – the successor to conventional CAD (computer-aided drafting) technology – to design, model and manufacture Altoona’s HVAC, Mechanical and Plumbing systems. Revit’s advantages help Baker Group meet the city’s tight construction schedule, which begins in August 2018. To contain costs, Baker Group must get most of the underground mechanicals in place before the first frost.

Cross says, “Revit allows us to seamlessly integrate engineering and modeling simultaneously, see them in 3D and – if anything changes – other needed changes are instantly reflected in the model. Accuracy improves, data is exported to our Advanced Manufacturing facility and we get to fabrication sooner.”

Achieving the client’s goals
As with every client, Cross says Baker Group is committed to helping the City of Altoona achieve its project goals, which include exceptional delivery and execution, forward-looking and innovative facility, flexible and functional facility that will accommodate future growth, and an attractive facility that is a point of pride and representative of Altoona’s future.

Back To Governmental Projects