By Scott Nishimura firstname.lastname@example.org
Fort Worth is on track to open the first phase of the city’s new police and fire training center Nov. 1.
The police gun range and related offices and classrooms are expected to open then, Mark Rauscher, the city’s program manager over the 76-acre project at 505 W. Felix St. in south Fort Worth, told City Council members Tuesday. The facility will include 50 and 100-yard ranges.
The second phase – police and fire administration and headquarters, tactical villages, drive track, fire village, and dive tank – should open April 1, he said.
The project’s contractor has also informed the city that it’s “far enough along” that Fort Worth can now release some of the contingency funds it’s held in reserve for the project to other potential uses, Rauscher told council members. That will allow the city to accelerate the planned $3.8 million relocation of Fire Station 17, east of the public safety center, to a new location on the south side close to Interstate 20.
That will improve the station’s response times because of better access to I-20 and I-35W, Rauscher said.
Council members will vote next week on the fire station relocation, and tentative opening would be in October next year, Rauscher said.
Council members noted that the city expects to be able to allow use of the facility to other public safety departments for fees.
Councilman Jungus Jordan said that traffic could spawn demand for hotel, restaurant, and retail development around the center.
“It could help us with a lot of redevelopment in that area,” he said.