We’re so pleased with the start of construction on the new Regional Public Safety Academy at Southtown Centre. I was recently joined by state and local elected officials, Public Safety Foundation members, education partners, and neighborhood leaders for a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the official beginning of construction.
The 132,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility will provide police, fire, emergency medical services, and homeland security training and education for professionals and students from Northeast Indiana and across the Midwest. The academy will also play a prominent role in the newly developing mandated state fire training for the 3rd District in Northeast Indiana.
Education partners include Ivy Tech, IPFW, Indiana Tech, Taylor University, the University of St. Francis, Tri-State University, and Fort Wayne Community Schools (Anthis Career Center). The educational institutions will use classroom space at the academy to teach and train students to become public safety professionals.
Hagerman Construction is the general contractor for the project. The total cost of the project is $27 million. The project is financed through a City Council approved $24 million bond. Additional sources include $15 million from the Indiana General Assembly through Ivy Tech. Property taxes are not being used to finance the academy. The academy is scheduled to open in November 2007.
This new regional asset serves as a model for public safety training and preparedness. We are building high trust, high performance partnerships with agencies across Northeast Indiana and the Midwest region. Residents will benefit from trained professionals that will have the skills to work together in an emergency. We are a leader in providing excellent services.
We were recently notified that the Indiana Supreme Court has upheld the Indiana Court of Appeals ruling that the City of Fort Wayne can complete the acquisition of the former Southtown Mall site with no additional liability.
We are pleased by the Supreme Court’s ruling as we revitalize the Southtown area. Southtown Centre is creating hundreds of jobs and bringing new private investments to an underserved segment of our community. Several projects are moving ahead at Southtown Centre. Menards and Firestone have opened new stores. A new Wal-Mart Supercenter will open in early fall. STAR Financial Bank and Wendy’s have agreed to build at Southtown Centre, and the new U.S. 27/Southtown intersection has been built.
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