Montgomery County Officials Break Ground on Public Safety Training Academy (PHOTOS)
Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett along with County Council members Marc Elrich, Sidney Katz, Hans Riemer and Tom Hucker, Police Chief J. Thomas Manger, Acting Fire Chief Scott Goldstein and Department of General Services Director David Dise took part in the groundbreaking ceremony for a new Public Safety Training Academy (PSTA) on Feb. 11.
The new facility will be located at 8751 Snouffer School Road in Gaithersburg, and is part of the Montgomery County Multi Agency Service Park (MASP).
This facility is another of Leggett’s Smart Growth Initiative (SGI) projects that is revitalizing a former industrial area into an urban village near the Shady Grove Metro station. Leggett’s SGI provides substantial economic opportunities for further growth while implementing the goals of the Shady Grove Sector Plan.
The SGI continues to implement and accomplish the following:
• Create a transit-oriented bioscience enclave at the Shady Grove Life Sciences Center that will increase the County’s competiveness;
• Construct thousands of new housing units;
• Create new, high-paying jobs;
• Relocate and replace old, overcrowded, inadequate public facilities;
• Save $22 million a year on rent payments; and
• Create opportunities to protect the agricultural reserve.
“It is especially gratifying that we break ground today for another of our Smart Growth Initiative projects which continue the vision of using our building site resources to their greatest potential,” said Leggett. “By 2016 we will have a world-class public safety training facility that will have a positive impact on our public safety personnel and the safety of our County for generations to come.”
“One of the most important functions of government is to protect the public safety,” said Chair of the Public Safety Committee Elrich. “I am pleased that the County is continuing its long tradition of excellence in training and preparedness for our law enforcement and fire and rescue personnel by building a new state-of-the-art public safety training academy. It will offer expanded classroom space, EMT training facility, improved indoor firing range, and other enhancements that are not available at the current 40-year-old PSTA.”
The current PSTA located at 9710 Great Seneca Highway was completed in 1973. Since then, the training needs of public safety agencies have changed significantly. The PSTA houses the specialized training programs for all new law enforcement officers hired by the Montgomery County Police Department, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, the Office of the Fire Marshal of the Department of Fire and Rescue Service, the Rockville City Police Department, the Gaithersburg Police Department, the Takoma Park Police Department, the Chevy Chase Village Police Department, and the Maryland-National Capital Park Police – Montgomery County. The PSTA also houses functional training programs for all career and volunteer fire and emergency personnel who serve the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service.
“We have some of the best public safety instructors in the country,” said Chief Manger. “The only thing that has been holding us back has been the limitations of our current facility. We have needed a new training academy for a long time. This groundbreaking officially defines the next stage toward making our greatly anticipated plans a reality.”
“This premier facility will educate and train generations of career and volunteer firefighters and emergency medical personnel,” said Acting Fire Chief Goldstein. The collaborative training and joint drills that police and the fire department conduct will be enhanced at this state-of-the art facility and will serve as a model for keeping Montgomery County at the forefront of innovative and cutting-edge training.”
The training facility construction will include: a 119,334-gross-square-foot (GSF) Academic Building, a 4,850-GSF Fire Residential Training Building, a 11,300-GSF Fire Commercial Training Building, a 12,000-GSF High Bay and Fire Training Support Building, a 15,386-GSF Apparatus Building, a 6,000-GSF Canine Training Building, a 12,000-GSF Multi-use Cityscape Structure Training area, a 2,075-GSF Department of Transportation Vehicle Training Support Building, and a 2,095-GSF Fuel Facility.