AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — On Tuesday, during the Amarillo City Council meeting, Amarillo College’s Vice President of Business Affairs, Chris Sharp, provided further details on an ongoing project that aims to help train first responders.
Sharp shared that the college is in the process of purchasing the old JC Penney’s building in the Sunset Center. The plan is to transform this building into a regional first responder training center.
The college’s Vice President of Business Affairs continued to explain that this regional training center will house Amarillo College’s Fire Academy, Police Academy, and their EMT program. This future training center will be a 100,000 sq. ft. facility with two floors.
“So we’ll utilize both the first and second floor of it, and it will be bringing our first responders all into one place. And so we’ll have our firefighting academy or police academy in our EMT program, all centrally located,” said Sharp.
He continued to say that during this process, they have received some correspondence about the community project fund from Congressman Ronny Jackson.
“So we’re- the project is a $13 million project and so we’re going to apply for $6 million of it, of those funds. And hopefully you can get those in, and can help us build the project right,” said Sharp.
However, Sharp said that regardless of whether AC receives monetary assistance from the earmark funds, they plan to keep pushing forward with the help of voter-approved bonds from 2019.
“We’ll still use the bond funds to pay for the project. We just can’t do as much as the project as we wish if those funds aren’t made available to us.”
Amarillo College hopes to make a positive impact on the Texas Panhandle and its’ neighboring states with this completed project.
“First responders are, are hard to get in the first place, and needing to train them and give them the state of the art training that they need is what we’re going to offer, and so it just makes sense to fund this project,” said Sharp.
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