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NANO Renovation Underway for New Orleans Fire Department Headquarters and Storm Shelter

NEW ORLEANS, LA — The City of New Orleans recently hosted a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the start of the final construction phase for the New Orleans Fire Department’s (NOFD) new headquarters designed by local architecture and interiors firm NANO, LLC. New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, NOFD Chief Roman Nelson, NANO Designer Sam LeBlanc, FEMA representatives, and other government officials attended the ceremony.

Through this transformational renovation, the city’s former Municipal Training Academy building — a 20,000-square-foot postmodern brick and plaster structure with a gabled roof — will become the new NOFD headquarters and a storm shelter. Set to function as both an administrative office and a 24-hour operations center, the facility is designed to consolidate NOFD resources, improve communication and preparedness, and cultivate an enhanced sense of community among New Orleans fire fighters.

"I am very excited and honored to be part of the New Orleans Fire Department Headquarters project team,” LeBlanc said. “This renovation will give a new home to these dedicated first responders, the people we rely on in our times of greatest need."

When hurricane damage and environmental issues forced the NOFD to close its headquarters in 2011, staff and resources were scattered across the city. The new location and new facility will bring everything back under one storm-resilient roof. Working in close collaboration with NOFD leadership, NANO redesigned the building for 24-hour operation.

In addition to updating the interior to accommodate the complex program needed for an emergency response building, NANO created spaces for offices, administration areas, conference rooms, medical and training facilities, a fully equipped dormitory, a gym, a kitchen, a recreation room, and a disaster recovery area. NANO designed a 1,500-square-foot bridge that will connect the main building and an adjacent auditorium, creating a distinctive gateway to mark the facility’s entry and give it a more modern sensibility.

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Not only will the improvements enhance the building’s aesthetic, they will also make it safer. NANO upgraded the building to a Type II-B, Risk Category IV compliant structure. In addition to site remediation, waterproofing, and impact-resistant glazing, NANO carved out a secure space for a large generator, an access control system fully integrated into the security monitoring system, and resilient flood mitigation and stormwater management solutions.

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