ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — City leaders broke ground on the 65,000-square-foot Public Safety Training Center Thursday morning. It’s being built just north of the Round Rock Police Department.
The facility will include a shooting range and driving pad for police officers, who currently have to travel outside Round Rock to train. “Our driving, we’d actually go out to College Station and do driving out there, so having this facility here is going to save thousands of dollars in taxpayers’ money,” said Round Rock Police Chief Allen Banks.
Round Rock firefighters also have to travel to train, sometimes as far north as Dallas. They will share the training center with police.
“Whether it’s an active shooter or it’s a multiple crash scene, something of that nature, we now work hand in hand, work closer, work quicker, together with fire,” explains Chief Banks.
Live fire simulations that include burn towers, will help all firefighters get the same experience.
“To be able to consistently practice that and those techniques and learn new techniques, not only makes the citizens of Round Rock safer but our fellow firefighters as well,” says firefighter Ryan Hamilton Firefighter, a driver in the training division.
Construction on the $29 million facility is expected to be complete by the summer of 2018. Voters approved the center in a 2013 bond election.
Round Rock will be the second city in Williamson County to recently build a new Public Safety facility. Georgetown opened its Public Safety Operations and Training Center in July 2015. Voters approved more than $29 million in funding for the center in a 2011 bond election. The Georgetown center replaced a building that was more than 100 years old.