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Published 10/15/2003
Owens Selects Architect For New Fire and Police Training Center for Homeland Security

Owens Community College continues forward with the construction of a new Fire and Police Training Center for Homeland Security by selecting the state-of-the-art facility's architect. The architectural firm of Poggemeyer Design Group Inc. in Bowling Green has been chosen to design the future complex.

The next step in the construction process will be for Owens to review the architectural firm's technical proposal. Plans then must be approved by the College's Board of Trustees.

"Owens Community College has been at the forefront in providing area police, fire and medical agencies with emergency training for over 30 years," said Dr. Paul Unger, Provost of Owens Community College. "This new Fire and Police Training Center for Homeland Security will enable thousands of emergency safety forces from around the Midwest to concurrently train in simulated real world disaster and crisis situations."

Provost Unger added, "The College expects to break ground and begin preliminary infrastructure work on the site this spring."

Recognized as a regional leader in designing emergency management and law enforcement facilities, the Poggemeyer Design Group is responsible for creating a Police and Fire Training Facility Master Plan for the city of Maumee, the Toledo Correctional Facility, the Wood County Sheriff's Office, the Seneca County Sheriff's Office and the Waterville Fire Station.

In addition, the architectural firm has assembled a consortium of leaders in homeland security to assist the planning of Owens' new training center. Contributors to the project's development is led by Phil Keith, Chief of Police for the city of Knoxville, Tennessee. Chief Keith has over 30 years of experience in law enforcement and in 2002 was appointed by President George Bush to the Homeland Security Senior Advisory Committee.

"I welcome the opportunity to be involved in such an important endeavor and believe Owens Community College's new Fire and Police Training Center for Homeland Security can be one of the best programs in the nation," said Chief Keith, a member of Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge's cabinet.

Phase I of Owens' initial project, which will cost approximately $1.9 million, will be to install a burn center, rescue pond, helicopter pad, driving/handling pursuit track, a parking lot and search and rescue site.

Additional Phases will include training facilities such as a fire tower, a mock city, car burn area, fuel spill area and transportation-related emergency sites for air, rail and ground. Owens' state-of-the-art facility will feature a Maritime Training Site and a 27,000 square foot Simulation Center for Regional Anti-Terrorism Emergency Management. The interior of the Center will consist of a containment chamber, classrooms, science-type laboratories, a decontamination room and shower/locker facilities.

The College's new $10 million Fire and Police Training Center for Homeland Security will be the only comprehensive facility of this magnitude in the Midwest. Other regional centers are located in Virginia, Georgia and California.

Owens' longstanding commitment to regional training for safety forces includes signing an agreement with the Ohio Fire Academy to provide college coursework to full- and part-time firefighters throughout the state of Ohio. This collaboration enables fire academy students to earn an Owens associate' s degree, while simultaneously receiving instructional training. Owens is the first higher educational institution in the state to offer any type of degree program to Ohio fire academy students.

On the Toledo-area Campus, Owens currently offers associate degrees or certificate programs in Fire Science Technology and Criminal Justice Science Technology, as well as Emergency Medical Technician Certification.

Owens Community College is the fastest-growing higher educational institution in Northwest Ohio with 26 consecutive semesters of enrollment increases. On the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 40,000 credit and non-credit students making it the number one choice for new college students. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability. Owens Community College offers over 130 program areas in Agriculture, Business, Fine and Performing Arts, Health, Public Service, Skilled Trades, Industrial and Engineering Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor 's degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university.


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