The same Fresno architectural firm that designed first responder campuses at other California community colleges has been tapped to design Fresno City College’s new training center for police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians.

A State Center Community College District selection committee is recommending that trustees hire SIM-PBK Architects on a $3 million contract to design the $46.1 million project. The committee, which was composed of campus and district administration, program faculty and staff, and police and fire officials from surrounding jurisdictions, interviewed three firms before deciding to recommend SIM-PBK.

Raleigh Sullivan, an architect at SIM-PBK, said the firm has handled design work for the Carlsbad Public Safety Center, the Orange County Regional Firefighting Center in Irvine, and the All Risk Training Center in Rancho Cucamonga, which are similar to the Fresno City College project.

The recommendation is on the consent agenda of Tuesday’s board meeting.

Under the contract, SIM-PBK will design the site development and first phase facilities that will include classrooms, training facilities, offices, and other facilities needed for fully functioning first responders programs.

Raleigh Sullivan, an architect at SIM-PBK, said the firm has handled design work for the Carlsbad Public Safety Center, the Orange County Regional Firefighting Center in Irvine, and the All Risk Training Center in Rancho Cucamonga, which are similar to the Fresno City College project. In addition, the firm designed the Fresno Police Training Facility, he said.

Subsequent phases of construction on the First Responders campus could include partnering with the Fresno Fire Department to build a burn tower and for other improvements. The 40-acre site in southeast Fresno will give the academies room to grow, said George Cummings, district director of facilities planning. No funding sources for additional projects have been identified as for now, he said.

Offer Made for Southeast Fresno Site

The First Responders Training Center, which was originally expected to open in late 2022, has been delayed as the district searched for a suitable site, Cummings said.

The site has been found and an offer made, and now the district is conducting due diligence to identify any potential hazards, he said. Barring any such discovery, Cummings said he expects the property purchase will go into escrow “shortly”  and that the campus will be operational by early to spring 2023.

The training center is included in Measure C, a $485 million bond for new facilities and renovations that voters approved in June 2016. The center will be home to Fresno City College’s police and fire academies and will also support an emergency medical technician program. In the 2017-18 year, the three programs served 4,395 students, said State Center spokeswoman Roseanne Susoeff.

SIM-PBK also is partnering with the district to design the $87 million Southwest Fresno Career and Technical Training Center, Cummings said.

Work Proceeds on Other Measure C Projects

Other Measure C projects underway include a $5 million Agriculture and Technology building at Madera Community College Center, where ground was broken in October 2018. Cummings said he expects the next groundbreaking will be for the new Reedley College Math, Science, and Engineering building.

Bids for construction will go out this fall, he said. The $20 million building will replace the college’s existing facility, including dental labs that are more than 40 years old.

The Fresno City College Police Academy, known as the State Center Regional Training Facility, was founded in 1973 and provides basic police academy, probation officer, advanced officer training, recertification, out-of-state waiver testing, dispatcher courses, and other continual law enforcement courses. At the basic police academy on the Fresno City College main campus, 634 students earned certificates from 2009-10 through 2017-18, Susoeff said.

The Fresno City College Fire Academy was founded in 1992 by Mike Collins, a retired Fresno Fire battalion chief. The course offerings include basic fire, firefighter II, emergency medical technician, state fire marshal chief officer, HAZMAT, rescue, and paramedic. The fire academy, which is located at the college’s Career and Technology Center, 2930 E. Annadale Ave., Fresno, issued 411 certificates from 2009-10 through 2017-18, Susoeff said.

Emergency medical technician classes are currently being taught at the Fresno Pacific University North Campus, she said.

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