The Municipal Complex
For a number of years, the City has lacked a dedicated “center” or area where residents would traditionally gather around for commerce, cultural and leisure events. To address this, the City is moving forward with the ongoing development of a municipal area that would fulfill the social and economic needs of residents while also being mindful of the environment. This effort has culminated in what is called the Municipal Complex (Complex). The Complex contains the new city hall building, adjacent plaza, the Cape Canaveral Public Library, Brevard County Sheriff's Office, a new dog park called Rover’s Space, a soon to be renovated cultural center, and the City’s leisure services facilities which encompasses a series of tennis and racquetball courts, open grass areas and street spaces for public events. Considerations in the continuing development of the Complex include walkable and bikeable facilities, incorporating appropriate pedestrian-based infrastructure, sustainable design and connectivity all while creating a sense of place and offering public services.
A stand out within the Complex certainly includes the new city hall, which is a LEED Silver equivalent; two-story building designed with the future in mind and includes low impact development, design, construction, and energy use standards that aim to make the building more sustainable. Completed in 2018, the new city hall was built to replace the City’s original city hall, which was built in 1966. The 18,000 square-foot building is over twice the size of its predecessor but only represents a 20% increase in footprint with the inclusion of a second story. Updated sustainability and resilience-based features include LED lighting, ADA compliance, water bottle refilling stations, water efficient toilets and faucets with sensor operated battery powered flush valves and 1.5 gallons per minute sensor operated faucets, tankless water heater, impact resistant windows with built in shutters, Energy Star appliances, Level-2 electric vehicle charging stations and an upstairs data server room located to protect against the threat of flooding.
To improve stormwater capacity and reduce harmful nutrient loading into the nearby Banana River the building also employs an underground stormwater chamber system below its parking lot that can hold approximately 113,000 gallons of water. This water is allowed to percolate into the ground through the chamber’s perforated bottom where it is naturally filtered. This type of stormwater system was also chosen due to the limited onsite space for a traditional retention pond or swale.
Old city hall will be redeveloped as a communal cultural and education center called the CAPE Center. This new cultural and education centerpiece will be LEED Silver equivalent, incorporate improved stormwater measures, hold art classes, and display historical pieces unique to the City and space exploration. The CAPE Center is expected to be completed in 2022, and will host a rooftop ballasted solar array in order to lower energy usage and emissions. Inside the building’s lobby will be an energy dashboard monitor that will livestream data from the array so that the public can see how the system works and how much power it is producing.
Additionally, the Complex includes pedestrian friendly amenities that help the City fulfill its resident-driven Vision Statement of becoming a walkable and bikeable community. Walkable and bikeable paths are designed with Vision Zero policies, adopted from an international road traffic safety project aiming to create roadways with no fatalities or serious injuries. Amenities include numerous bike racks with distinct artistic shapes such as rockets, dolphins, tennis rackets and a “bookworm,” a bicycle fix-it station, a solar light illuminated bus stop and a bike share station connected to a larger countywide system. These additions were created after removing a portion of a two-lane road that originally ran through the project area, making way for a decorative plaza as a walkable space to connect the new city hall to the cultural center. This plaza includes increased public seating, additional trees and shade coverage, a Space Shuttle statue, and a Little Free Library that encourages reading and education, especially among younger residents.
Another amenity, the City’s first dog park, opened in 2019. This new dog park, called Rover’s Space, features solar powered street lights, anti-bacterial AstroTurf, pet obstacles made from recycled composite material, a Little Free Pantry for dog treats and food, water bottle refilling station that includes a bowl for animals and ADA compliant walkways are made from a permeable material that allows rainwater to flow right through it. This material is also made from recycled tires.
Rover’s Space is complemented by a new mural on the northern facade of the City’s racquetball courts at the leisure services complex depicting an astronaut in honor of the 1960s space race, the race that helped shape Cape Canaveral’s famous history. The mural is the City’s first and was formally dedicated in late summer 2019 in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. A call for artists went out to the public, and the chosen designs were posted to social media, allowing citizen engagement and buy-in. The mural was also reviewed by the City’s resident-driven Community Appearance Board, who voted unanimously in support of the mural.
The Cape Canaveral Community Center
Formally known as the Multi-Generational Facility, the Cape Canaveral Community Center is currently under construction in the northwest corner of Canaveral City Park. After years of planning and citizen outreach, this building will bring a new level of community services to residents while also employing the latest in building design and sustainability. The 24,330 square foot, 2-story building will feature a full-size gymnasium, indoor running track, climbing wall, game room, exercise rooms for classes as well as a full fitness area with cardio and weight lifting machines. A conference room with an adjoining balcony for event rentals will also be available to Cape Canaveral residents.
The building’s roof will utilize a ballasted solar array that will—like at the CAPE Center—help to lower both energy consumption and emissions. According to the City’s recently released Government Operational Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory, municipal buildings and facilities makeup 83.5% of total emissions identified in the 2019 calendar year (the year inventoried), equating to 1,105 metric tons. This is one of the reasons the City wishes to implement solar arrays across City buildings and facilities, as well as make energy efficiency improvements in general. Buildings consume nearly 40% of energy in the United States (US) according to the US Energy Information Administration.
Canaveral City Park as a whole is also seeing upgrades alongside the construction of the Cape Canaveral Community Center. These include new solar powered parking and accent lighting, permeable pavement for stormwater infiltration, Florida-friendly landscaping and tree plantings, electric vehicle charging stations, a splash pad, bike racks and new ADA complaint walking trails.