Proj Overview

Project Overview

A sleek, contemporary design with a richly textured exterior was created for this combination police academy training center and magnet high school for students interested in legal studies and forensic science in Miami, FL. Architectural precast concrete panels were used to tie together a mix of materials.

The City of Miami College of Policing and Miami-Dade School of Law Studies, Homeland Security and Forensic Sciences facility was designed specifically to reinforce the goals of the new Miami 21 zoning and planning guidelines. The building creates a rich pedestrian environment with lush landscaping, multicolored patterned sidewalks, multiple street-level entrances, textured exterior materials and built-in benches. The design helps define the urban street edge and creates a formal plaza suitable for public gatherings between the facility and the adjacent police headquarters.

Precast Solution

The main police entrance is defined by a four-story-tall wall of light, buff-colored architectural panels with a light sandblast finish. The panels include incised building signage, a detailed recess, and a large cast-metal police badge set into the precast concrete. The southeast corner contains a similar four-story-high precast concrete element with the high school name and logo.

On other façades, four-story elements continue as thinner precast concrete strips, which mark the edge of a stucco infill wall. The wall’s lower portion is defined by black-colored precast concrete panels. Black precast concrete panels with a richly textured light-sandblast finish also clad a shared auditorium. Formliners were used to create enhanced shadow and texture on the auditorium façade, providing a visual focal point.

The design incorporates numerous sustainable-design features, including the high-efficiency precast concrete exterior skin with excellent thermal properties. A large east-facing great window opening mitigates heat loads through the use of low-emittance, fritted glazing with extensive sun shades to maximize daylight.

The HVAC and electrical systems also use high-efficiency components, including the light fixtures and air-handling equipment.


2011 Design AwardsBest Government or Public Building
Project Team

Architect/ Engineer

AECOM, Coral Gables, FL 


James B. Pirtle Construction, Davie, FL 


City of Miami, FL 


Gate Precast Co., Kissimmee, FL 

Precast Specialty Engineer

Gate Precast Co., West Chester, OH

Key Project Attributes

  • Incised building signage, a detailed recess, and a large cast-metal police badge were set into the precast 
  • A high-efficiency precast concrete exterior skin was chosen because of its’ excellent thermal properties
  • Different colors and textures of precast were used in conjunction with massing techniques to create a unique result

Project/Precast Scope

  • Project Size: 116,000 ft2 (10,800 m2)
  • Project Cost: $36.47 million
  • 25,982 ft2 of precast (186 pieces)