Boise & Garden City

Boise fine-tunes firefighter training complex design

An early representation of what the Boise Fire Department’s new commercial training tower, one component of a larger $11.5-million firefighter training complex, could look like.
An early representation of what the Boise Fire Department’s new commercial training tower, one component of a larger $11.5-million firefighter training complex, could look like.

The first phase of the Boise Fire Department’s $11.5-million firefighter training complex will include a tower for training firefighters in multi-story commercial settings, a building that mimics a home for live fire exercises, a classroom building and a structure that will house the department’s recruit academy and store equipment, spokeswoman Tammy Barry said in an email Friday.

About $6.8 million of the money for the project will come from a bond Boise voters overwhelmingly backed two years ago. Fire Chief Dennis Doan said Friday that the city’s contractor, Meridian-based Engineered Structures, Inc., expects completion of the first phase to require an additional $4.8 million.

Doan said that’s in line with the $10 million to $11 million total cost he expected back in 2014. He said the city, under the guidance of Mayor David Bieter and the City Council, has put aside enough money to cover the full cost — as long as bids for the project don’t exceed expectations by too much.

The new training center would be located at 12142 W. Joplin Road, near the city’s West Boise Wastewater Treatment Plant. After the first phase is built, Doan said, he hopes to attract private and grant money to fully develop the 17-acre campus.

The city of Boise’s Public Works Department submitted an application and related documents earlier this month, and the Planning and Zoning Commission is scheduled to review them Oct. 3.

If all goes according to plan, construction will start in March and wrap up in the spring of 2018.

The new complex will replace the Fire Department’s existing training facility, located between the Boise River, Shoreline Drive and the I-184 Connector. According to a city document, that facility has “for a very long time been obsolete and lack(s)the ability to replicate the challenges now facing the modern fire department. The current training tower is structurally deteriorating and live fire training can no longer be conducted.”

Meanwhile, plans to upgrade or replace four fire stations are on track, Doan said. Stations No. 4 and No. 8 are under construction and should be complete mid-2017, he said. The design phase for Station No. 9 will start soon, and construction will take place in 2018. A rebuilt Station No. 5 will be designed in 2018 and built in 2019.

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