The first Fire Department training center on Tinker Drive has officially been taken down and removed. On Wednesday, May 11, construction crews removed the Charles A. Smallwood Training Center to make way for the brand new state-of-the-art center.

Crews are expected to begin work Thursday, May 19 after the Fire Department holds a ceremonial groundbreaking at 10:00 a.m.

"It was bittersweet to see the center that we had used for more than 30 years demolished and removed from the property, but this also means that it's the beginning of something new," said Chief Shane Edwards. "We are so excited to see this new training center will do for our Class 1 firefighters and firefighters across the state who will come here to train as well."

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The old training center was built in 1984 by Macon-Bibb firefighters. It was used for more than 30 years to train thousands of firefighters. The new training facility is set to open by the end of the year. The $2.8 million center is going to be funded by voter-approved Special Local Options Sales Tax (SPLOST) dollars.

Firefighters held their last burn on Wednesday, May 4. You can watch highlights from the burn here.

Filed Under: Government, City

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