Joash Mencias // News Editor
Board paves way for $16 million addition to HEC building
The Board unanimously approved architectural and construction management contracts, paving the way for the College of DuPage to build a training center adjacent to the Homeland Security Education Center.
According to administrators’ reports given at the meeting, the new addition, also known as Phase II, will serve as a training center for first responder students.
At the Oct. 17 Board of Trustees meeting, President Robert L. Breuder touted the significance of the expansion.
“This establishes us as a center of excellence in first responder training.”
The 35,000 square foot facility will feature a 50-yard live-fire shooting range, four scenario simulators, and four multi-use classrooms.
Dean of Continuing Education Joseph Cassidy assured trustees on the safety of the live-fire range. The shooting range will be located underground and follow strict security protocols, including no public access.
The $16 million expansion will be paid for through referendum-related funds. Administrators also told trustees the facility could be capable of producing $7 million in revenue.
Prior to the construction of the current Homeland Security Education Center, the college had planned a first responder training facility in West Chicago several years ago, though the plans fell through due to a lack of funding.
However, because the college has not spent all of the available referendum funding, new plans were developed to create Phase II of the Homeland Security Education Center.
The college is slated to begin construction of Phase II next spring.
Throughout the logistics and plans presented at the board meeting, administrators emphasized that the main reason for constructing Phase II was the necessity for such a facility in the region.
Tom Brady, director of homeland security training at the college, stressed the need for the training facility at the college.
“There is a lack of integrated and comprehensive training in the region…(Phase II) will bring us into the future.”
Dean of Health and Sciences Tom Cameron echoed a similar sentiment:
“We hope the Homeland Security Training Institute will serve as the regional model and hopefully the national model.”