A two-story Operations Center awaits construction, a planned expansion by Ben Franklin Transit (BFT) at its main campus.

The new building aims to increase the productivity and well-being of those who will use it most: Fixed Route and Dial-a-Ride Drivers, Schedulers, the Safety and Training team, and other Operations staff.

Situated behind the administration building, the structure will compliment the scale and massing of its predecessor, while maintaining its own identity through a differing fenestration pattern and dark brick.

Purposeful planning: Placement within the footprint of the existing Ops building (to be demolished) intentionally avoided expanded permitting activities, streamlining the progression of planning and construction. The site, anticipating limited work among already-established landscaped areas and circulation paths, will undergo only minor modifications; these, in large part, are to accommodate space and circulation for construction activities.

The project was initially designed as 3-stories, yet a change in circumstances, partially resultant of the pandemic, caused BFT to re-assess the planned square footage. Fulfilling the desire to reduce the area, TCF maintained the footprint and chopped the top (floor). This seemingly draconian response required minimal plan changes, maintaining value in preserving the ‘big idea’ that drove the design.

Efficient interiors: Major program spaces include open and private office and work areas; dispatch, training and conference rooms; commons with kitchen, and locker facilities. The design is relatively simple and affordable, with strategies that look toward high building performance, reduced resource consumption and increased occupant health, comfort and productivity.

Acting as “building blocks,” three module types are sized and configured to accommodate 1 conference room, 2 offices or a grouping of workstations. This strategy maximizes the use and flexibility of floor plates in their ability to adapt over time.