On September 11, while the country was in remembrance, Swinerton Builders honored the day by breaking ground on a new $13.4 million facility to train future firefighters and emergency medical technicians (EMTs).
Located on the campus of San Diego Miramar College, the three-building facility will boast a 27,000-sq-ft “minicampus” for firefighting and EMT students and will include classrooms, administration space, a simulated command center, a fire truck bay, a four-story drill tower, a courtyard, and an area for recruit drills and physical fitness training.
Chris Murphy, Swinerton’s project executive, says an interesting challenge is constructing a state-of-the-art facility that the Fire & Emergency Medical Technology program needed for the available budget.
“The bond program budget that was identified for the project was really only enough to build a simple “box” for this facility,” says Murphy. “However, early programming studies with the end-users revealed very diverse teaching and training needs for firefighter and EMT recruits.”
He says to build a “box” would have fallen far short of what was needed, so “our team was able to design a multi-building “minicampus” with unique, separate learning and training areas that could accommodate the diverse curriculum offered.
“It took all of us to deliver this design: The owner came to the table with some additional bond money; architect gkkworks challenged themselves to do great design work with simple, cost efficient materials; and Swinerton Builders led the team with cost-saving constructability input. The end result is a beautiful, highly-functional collection of spaces for training the minds, bodies, and even spirits of future first-responders.”During the September 11 groundbreaking event, the San Diego County Firefighters Pipes and Drums played a touching version of “Amazing Grace” in tribute, while project officials used gleaming shovels and donned fire helmets for a ceremonial turning of the ground.