After months of discussions, planning and public meetings the Craig Rural Fire Protection District Board Wednesday hosted a ceremonial ground breaking ceremony at its live fire training tower site on Industrial Ave. behind Kmart.
Byron Willems, fire board president, said it was a monumental occasion considering the amount of attention the estimated $1.5 million project has received in recent months.
“We’re excited about starting the actual physical process of accomplishing our goal,” he said.
The ground breaking was attended by all five members of the fire board, Craig Fire/Rescue Chief Bill Johnston, and city officials, as well as representatives from local contractors, including Anson Excavating & Pipe, Inc., Three Son’s Construction and DNT Electric.
James Ausberger, of FDI International, LLC, an architectural and engineering firm out of Boulder, also attended the event.
Ausberger is serving as one of the project managers for the fire tower project and said residents can expect to see foundation construction begin after Christmas.
Once the foundation is in place, which entails the installation of special helicoil supports, a boom will be brought in to begin the physical construction of the tower, Ausberger said.
The materials for the fire tower are already onsite.
Final construction of the tower, including utilities and more than 15,000-square feet of landscaping, won’t begin until after the spring thaw, Ausberger said.
The training facility itself has a small footprint, but will also feature two driveway entrances and a parking lot, Ausberger said.
The tower is white in color and comprised of three linked structures — including a smoke room, a two-story house and the tower.
It is estimated to be 70 feet long by 30 feet wide, according to the site package.
The tower stands approximately 53 feet tall.
The training facility boasts five separate floors ideal for physical conditioning, punch out panels in the roof to practice ventilation operations, and customizable mazes to train firefighters how to locate victims in smoky conditions with almost no visibility, Ausberger said.
Joe Moylan can be reached at 875-1794 or firstname.lastname@example.org