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The long-awaited First Responders Center is becoming a reality. After years of planning, the site has been purchased and construction is beginning.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the new First Responders Center will be held Thursday, February 17 at 10:00 a.m. The new center will be located at 3300 W. North Avenue (northwest corner of North and Willow avenues). The live event will be livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube.
The center will bring together all first responder programs, academies for police, fire, and EMT, into one 40-acre location. Currently, the FCC Fire Academy is located at the Career & Technology Center on Annadale Avenue and the Police Academy is located on the main campus behind Ratcliffe Stadium. The new facility will include fire training structures, a scenario village for police training, simulation spaces. a running track, and a driving pad. Funding for the $46.1 million project comes from Measure E ($45m) and Measure C ($1.1m). Measure E was approved by the voters in 2016 and Measure C in 2002.
Both the directors of the Fire Academy and the Police Academy are excited that they will have a state-of-the-art training site to prepare future first responders to best serve our community.
“The ability to put all our programs on one site will allow for several things. The two most important will be the building of relationships between programs at our level and second being able to interact with the community as a group and not three separate programs on three campuses,” said Peter Cacossa, Fire Academy Director.
Police Academy Director Gary Fief agrees. “The Police Academy is looking forward to having a facility to train our law enforcement, fire and emergency medical students serving our community so that they are well prepared for the challenges ahead of them,” he said.
The project is expected to be completed by late summer or early fall 2023. The center was designed by SIM-PBK Architects. The modular building construction contract was awarded to American Modular Systems.