Law Enforcement Training Center

Fabrication Phase

Mark Aeling, President of MGA Sculpture Studio, developed the design concept, titled Acumen, for the Northern Colorado Law Enforcement Training Center (NCLETC). The design process was motivated by the intended use of this training facility and historical research of Northern Colorado. This artwork illustrates the journey required to achieve “The ability to make good judgements, take quick action and overcome challenge within a particular arena”, which is the definition of acumen.

The prehistoric Ammonite, an ancient ancestor to the Nautilus that is found in fossilized remains all over the Front Range of Colorado, was selected to embody this design concept. Ammonites begin life in a single-cavity, and as they grow they move into successively larger cavities, known as growth chambers. The vacated growth chambers are closed off, but continue to help the Ammonite float, or flourish in their environment. These growth chambers increase in size exponentially as the Ammonite progresses and are a naturally occurring example of the Fibonacci Sequence and Golden Ratio. These mathematical formulas define the shape of galaxies, hurricanes and the Ammonite and Nautilus shells.

Training is the progressive action of teaching and learning, which result in exponential growth in a particular ability or type of behavior. Training is a refining process, a natural evolution of growth through repetition, until actions are second nature.  Acumen creates a visual metaphor between the Ammonite growth process and the intensive training methods required to develop exceptional law enforcement professionals, which is the purpose of Northern Colorado Law Enforcement Training Center.

Mark Aeling continues to work with the NCLETC Project Team on aspects related to the fabrication and installation of his sculpture, Acumen, at the Northern Colorado Law Enforcement Training Center.  Installation of Acumen is expected in March 2021.

January 2020: Artwork Design Presentation

Mark Aeling presented his sculpture concept, titled Acumen, to the cities of Loveland and Fort Collins public art boards and representatives of the Project Design Team which included two Police Officers from each city.  The design was unanimously accepted with slight modifications.  The City is now in the contractual phase of this project.

Spring 2019: Design Phase

Artist Mark Aeling was selected from a national field of 119 artists to design art concepts for the Northern Colorado Law Enforcement Training Center.  Currrently, this public artwork installation is expected to be installed in the median along North Boyd Lake Avenue.   Mark is expected to present those concept to the Fort Collins and Loveland public art commissions on January 28, 2020 at 5:30pm in the Rialto Theater Devereaux Room, 228 E. Fourth Street, downtown Loveland.  This meeting will be open to the public.

December 2018:  Jury Phase

The Request for Qualifications, released in October 2018, received 119 applicants for this project.
The artwork selection jury has begun two rounds of voting to determine the top candidate.  This finalist will be hired to work directly with the Project Design Team to develop site-specific artwork for the exterior of this facility.  We anticipate the artwork design presentation to take place in the spring of 2019.  (Date TBD)

October 2018:  Applications Open

An artists Request for Qualifications was released on the CAFE website (

Project Overview: Request for Qualifications — Police Regional Training Institute

The cities of Loveland and Fort Collins, Colorado seek submissions to select an artist/artist team to design art concepts for a Police Regional Training Institute.  This Request for Qualifications is a collaborative effort between both cities’ Art in Public Places programs.  The selected artist/artist team will work with the Project Design Team to develop concepts for site-specific artwork.  Artists/teams will be selected based on their qualifications and application materials.  The art project is estimated at $162,000.00  The deadline for submission is 11:59pm on Sunday, December 2, 2019.

Scope and Project Description
The Police Regional Training Institute will be located along Boyd Lake Avenue, near the Loveland/Fort Collins Airport.  Construction for this facility is expected to begin in January 2019, with a completion date of March 2020.  This facility will have little/no general public accessibility; however, it will be visible from the road.  The Police Regional Training Center envelops a 44.608 acre campus located within the Northern Colorado Regional Airport property, and shall include the construction of a 1.4 mile driving pursuit track, an indoor 50 yard shooting range, 400’x600’ skills/skid pad and auxiliary support infrastructure.

The selected artist/artist team will be paid an hourly rate to develop and attend Project Design Team meetings. The selected artist/artist team will identify the most appropriate and visible locations for their public art and develop artwork that:

  • is fabricated from durable outdoor material
  • is visible along Boyd Lake Avenue
  • enhances the overall aesthetics of the Police Regional Training Institute