Fire department group plans nearly $2 million training facility overhaul
ABLE – the four-city consortium of fire departments for Apple Valley, Burnsville, Lakeville and Eagan – plans a $1.6 million upgrade of its fire training center in Burnsville.
The 25-year-old complex features two buildings. There is a burn building, used for staging training with real fires, in addition to space for dozens of other types of training.
The site is becoming increasingly more difficult to use because of widespread disrepair. It was designed to last about 20 years.
The structure is cracking, allowing water to enter the facility and cause corrosion, said Lakeville Fire Chief Mike Meyer. AEI Engineering provided an analysis that discovered other issues as well.
Doors and window shutters have rusted beyond repair and the burn room tile and protective coating need replacement, among other things.
Crews in the four cities have gotten their use out of the site over more than two decades, but the planned new building should not only be better for training, it should last longer, too.
Plans include a three-level, 5,200-square-foot building as opposed to the dilapidated 1,200-square-foot one that stands today. It will have the ability to conduct burn training in any room. Meyer said it should be a viable space through 2043.
The taller building would provide training for some of the more complex firefighting efforts, such as attics and managing ladders amid a blaze.
The four constituent cities are each poised to contribute $500,000 toward the project.
Assuming all four city councils vote affirmatively, the construction project would begin this winter with a July 2013 completion date, Meyer said.
The Lakeville City Council is expected to vote on the expenditure in June.