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Virginia State Police completes new driver training complex

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The Virginia State Police will soon begin driver training in a new, $27.4 million complex on 680 acres near Fort Pickett, just outside the town of Blackstone. Designed by Fairfax-based Dewberry, the facility includes 4.5 miles of urban, rural, and interstate roadway courses that simulate Virginia topography, a three-story, 52,000-square-foot training and dormitory building, an observation tower and a vehicle maintenance garage.

The new training tracks offer a variety of road configurations, ranging from a cloverleaf ramp, to city intersections, and a 342,000-square-foot, precision-driving course. The facility allows the police to combine behind-the-wheel training with simulations and classroom instruction at one site.

Construction on a new firing range is scheduled to begin this spring. The building also was designed to serve as an alternate emergency operations center for the State Police.

The building’s design combines brick, precast architectural block and a glass curtain wall. “The architecture reflects the modern, state-of-the-art training approach provided by the Virginia State Police…,  ” Larry Hasson, who led the architectural design team for Dewberry, said in a statement.

In addition to architecture, Dewberry provided interior design and mechanical/electrical, structural, civil, and environmental engineering.

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