Fire department planning new training facility at AirPark

The Columbus Fire Department plans to build a training facility on the Columbus AirPark campus that will be used for simulation exercises and other functions.

The proposed facility, which would be located near Verhulst Drive, would replace an aging garage that currently exists on the site, Fire Chief Mike Compton said. Currently, the fire department trains in the basement of Fire Station No. 2 on Arnold Street.

“It’s not really an ideal situation,” he said.

The new building, which will include classroom space, is estimated to cost more than $500,000 and will be used as a regional training facility for other entities to also utilize, Compton said.

“We’re looking to expand and have more opportunities for firefighters,” Compton said. “We want to have something we can use year-round.”

Funding for construction will come out of the fire department’s capital fund.

For more on this story, see Saturday’s Republic.

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Matt Kent is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at 812-379-5712 or