In February of 2010 the Sykesville Freedom District Fire Department suffered a catastrophic roof collapse due to heavy snow loads. The collapse resulted in the rupture of the facilities 3” gas main, which ignited and engulfed nearly half of the building in flames. In the end, the department lost their entire community center, administrative center, sleeping space and recreational areas, leaving only the fire apparatus bays intact. The department conducted a design competition between five firms to design a facility three times larger than the previous. Manns Woodward Studios developed a comprehensive solution and was selected to design the new facility.
The new building, constructed in two separate phases enabled the department to move from their temporary facilities and into a new home in less than one year. The first phase of the project consisted of a completed locker/shower facility, 10 individual bunk rooms and a “temporary” open operations area which would later be converted into 10 additional individual bunk rooms at the completion of the second phase. The second phase of the project provides a Community Center/Shelter with a full commercial kitchen designed to seat 400 people in a formal setting. Phase II construction consisted of two separate training rooms, administrative offices, fitness areas, day rooms, computer labs, classrooms, a watch office, conference rooms, and dedicated areas for records processing and storage. The project was design with significant department and community input and was constructed while under occupancy by a fully functioning fire department.