Officials broke ground Tuesday on a $9.7 million expansion to the Gwinnett County Fire Academy located in Dacula. (staff photo: Kristi Reed)
Work is now officially underway on the second phase of the Gwinnett County Fire Academy expansion.
County officials broke ground Tuesday on a $9.7 million expansion project that will add a 35,000-square-foot academic building, a three-bay apparatus building with classrooms and a training pavilion to the Dacula facility. The academic building will replace the much smaller, 30-year-old building currently on site and will feature eight training rooms, administrative offices, a conference room and a student resource center.
“This new facility is going to be great for us,” Gwinnett County Fire Chief Casey Snyder said during the Aug. 5 groundbreaking ceremony.
Snyder thanked the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners and county staff for their support of the project.
“We’re also very grateful to our citizens,” he added. “The funding for this project came from the SPLOST that our citizens voted on and we certainly appreciate the confidence and the votes.”
Commission Chairwoman Charlotte Nash also emphasized the importance of SPLOST dollars to public safety efforts.
“Certainly the fire department has benefitted greatly from having SPLOST available,” she said.
Nash, praising the department’s ongoing efforts, cited statistics from 2014 during which fire personnel responded to 4,000 fire calls, 50,000 medical calls and 12,000 calls involving hazardous materials, gas leaks, alarms and other incidents for Gwinnett County’s nearly 870,000 residents.
“It’s just such a privilege to be associated with the finest fire department in the universe,” she said.
Speaking directly to fire department personnel and the new recruits present at the groundbreaking ceremony, District 3 Commissioner Tommy Hunter said the expansion is part of the county’s dedication to public safety.
“Our commitment is that we will do what we can to give you the equipment and facilities to the best trained public service personnel you can possibly be,” he said.
Hunter expressed his appreciation for the men and women who make up the county’s fire and emergency services and said the department is an important part of the community.
“You get to come to work every day and make a difference in somebody’s life,” he said.
Work on phase two of the expansion is expected to take two years to complete. The first phase of the fire academy expansion included the addition of a heavy duty driving training pad and an observation deck for instructors. The existing burn building and high rise training tower will remain on site.
The fire academy is located at 3608 Braselton Highway in Dacula.
Officials break ground on fire academy expansion
County officials broke ground Tuesday on a $9.7 million expansion project that will add a 35,000-square-foot academic building, a three-bay apparatus building with classrooms and a training pavilion to the Dacula facility.