April 7, 2017 – Collin College broke ground today on the Public Safety Training Center, the future home of the college’s fire science and law enforcement academies and a professional development training site for Collin County’s emergency services personnel. The center is being built in cooperation with the cities of McKinney and Allen.
The 128,000-square-foot training center will include two multistory burn towers for fire training in residential and commercial firefighting settings. The Fire Science Academy areas of the facility also include specialized simulators for training in hazardous materials fires and spills, civil aircraft fires and below-grade rescue in earth collapse extrications.
The Law Enforcement Academy section of the facility will include a training “village” with simulated retail spaces, apartment facades, office buildings and other spaces for reality-based training, three indoor firearms ranges totaling 37 lanes and a dedicated defensive tactics room. In addition to these specialized training areas, the Public Safety Training Center will have classrooms and support facilities for academy and continuing education courses.
“This Public Safety Training Center will be a valuable resource for preparing our students and emergency response personnel from around our region for dangerous situations that police officers and firefighters encounter while protecting the public and its property,” said Collin College District President Dr. Neil Matkin. “We are proud to join with our city partners in building a state-of-the-art facility that will help make us all safer.”
Collin College’s Fire Science Academy offers an associate of applied science for basic firefighter certification, a basic firefighter certificate, an associate of applied science for fire officer certification and a fire officer certificate. The Collin College Law Enforcement Academy offers a basic peace officer certification, a basic correctional officer state licensure course and a basic telecommunicators state licensure course. Both the Fire Science Academy and the Law Enforcement Academy offer continuing education courses for local, state and federal public safety employees.
Currently, the cities of McKinney, Allen and many other local public safety agencies are forced to travel a great distance in order to train their personnel. The Public Safety Training Center, which will be located at 3600 Redbud Boulevard in McKinney, just a few blocks east of U.S. Hwy 75 off Bloomdale Road, allows easy access for public safety agencies and allows them to train near the public that they serve. Not only will agency training become more convenient and cost-effective, but this central location will allow departments to quickly respond to emergencies that may occur in their service area while training.
“This facility will provide police and fire departments throughout Collin County and the surrounding area with innovative training options closer to home, ensuring continued coverage for our communities,” Dr. J. Robert Collins, Collin College founding trustee and board chairman, said.
Collin College serves more than 53,000 credit and continuing education students annually and offers more than 100 degrees and certificates. The only public college in the county, Collin College is a partner to business, government and industry, providing customized training and work force development. In addition, the college operates the Collin Higher Education Center, which serves 3,100 additional students each year in partnership with The University of Texas at Dallas, Texas Woman’s University, Texas A&M Commerce, Texas Tech and the University of North Texas.
(From left) Collin College Board Trustees Andy Hardin, Jim Orr and Dr. Robert Collins, District President Dr. Neil Matkin, McKinney Mayor Brian Loughmiller, Allen Mayor Stephen Terrell, Board Trustees Adrian Rodriguez, Dr. Raj Menon and Mac Hendricks
Photo by Nick Young, Collin College photographer