Shows Off Classroom

Washington Fire Chief Bill Halmich pulled down one of the hidden bunks in what is the classroom area of the new fire training center. The building can double as a fire station, if needed, and has the capacity to sleep personnel. The classroom will feature electronic training equipment with multiple projection screen simulators and audio simulators. Each position in the classroom will have its own computer. The classroom will have more online capability for training to meet volunteer schedules. Volunteers in training will be able to go from the burn area, which also is located on-site, to the classroom area.    Missourian Photo.

Crews working on Phase II of the fire training center in Washington should be finished with punch list items, or the last remaining work, this week according to Ron Unnerstall with Washington Engineering & Architecture, P.C.

Originally, the work was expected to be complete the first week of December. A 10-day extension was granted in November because of a scheduling conflict.

Ameren Missouri was scheduled to provide the permanent power the Friday after Thanksgiving. The date was chosen with the neighbors because the company needed to shut down electric in the area to complete the work. The date was later changed by the neighbors, setting the project back.

There is a $100 per day fee for liquidated damages in not meeting the substantial completion date. The site was inspected after Christmas and punch listed Jan. 3, Unnerstall said, adding that it is still to be determined if the damages will extend past the Jan. 3 date.

Once the punch list items are complete, the audio visual equipment will be installed in the training room and furnishings will be delivered. Both the AV equipment and furnishing will be completed by the fire department.

The department contracted with Conference Technologies of St. Louis to configure, acquire and install the system.

The city also will be responsible for the final site grading.

“I’m looking forward to the conclusion of the project so we can begin a new era in training,” said Washington Fire Chief Bill Halmich.

Phase I of the project, completed in 2007, involved construction of a “live burn” tower on M.L. Unnerstall Drive near Vossbrink Drive and Highway 100 in the Heidmann Industrial Park.

The training center building is located to the west of the burn tower.

It includes a classroom that can seat up to 60 people, a storage area for disaster supplies as well as equipment and apparatus for the Franklin County Homeland Security Response Team.

The training center project is being financed with revenue from the half-cent capital improvement sales tax that voters renewed in 2010.