This concept drawing provided by Washington Engineering and Architecture shows what Phase II of the Washington Fire Department’s training center will look like, once complete. The building, approximately 10,500 square feet in size, will be used for training and storage of fire equipment. The facility will be located on M.L. Unnerstall Drive near Vossbrink Drive and Highway 100 in the Heidmann Industrial Park west of the “live burn” tower.

Pending design plans being finalized for Phase II of the Washington fire training center, the city could seek construction bids later this month.

Brian Boehmer, assistant city administrator, told The Missourian Thursday that the final design plans could be finished in the next week or two.

At the Feb. 27 administration/operations committee meeting, Washington fire officials asked city council members for approval to seek bids to construct the facility.

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

Fire Chief Bill Halmich said firefighters have logged about 3,483 hours of training at the tower.

Mark Skornia, assistant fire chief and training officer, said Phase II will be located to the west of the tower.

It will include an approximate 10,500-square-foot building used for training and storage of fire equipment.

It also could serve as a fire station if needed. Plans call for pull-down beds, a kitchen area, showers and restrooms in the new building.

Washington Engineering and Architecture, which has been working on the design of Phase II, estimates the total building cost will be $1,441,000 plus $243,000 for furnishings and equipment.

Phase II will be paid for out of the 2011-12 capital improvement sales tax fund, which budgeted $1,650,000 for the building. Of that amount, $1,155,000 has been budgeted for 2012.

On the main floor of the new training center will be a classroom that can fit up to 60 people. There will be four wireless access points throughout the building.

Internet access in the building will allow firefighters to take advantage of webinars and webcasting for training. This, in turn, could decrease the department’s travel expenses for training, according to Halmich.

A large storage area in the Phase II building will be used to house haz-mat equipment and vehicles used by the Franklin County Homeland Security Response Team.

There also will be areas to store disaster supplies. Instant water heaters also are included in the plan.