Gordon Cooper Technology Center (GCTC) is still in the process of building its new Public Safety Center.

According to Public Information Officer Tracy Farley, while the rain has put construction behind, workers have started putting up the structure steel.

GCTC Superintendent Marty Lewis said the Safety Center will offer training programs and services to various public safety workers.

"The facility will include space to train for new and current paramedics to serve in our region, have a high school program that takes high school students through an introduction to law enforcement along with exposure to firefighting, paramedics, and other career opportunities associated with the Public Safety Pathway, train for existing law enforcement and security employers in our region, train existing firefighters (paid and volunteer) and train for any other Public Safety areas," Lewis said.

Farley said the program is scheduled to begin in January.

The building is located on GCTC's main campus between the diesel training facility and 45th Street.

Lewis explained the Safety Center will benefit Pottawatomie county and surrounding counties because future and current workers, such as law enforcement or volunteer fire fighters, will receive top notch training.

"Quite simply this facility and the training will allow many in our region to have access to a level of training that hasn’t been feasible before within our region," Lewis said.

The Safety Center will be more than 20,000 square feet, Lewis said, and will include: four classrooms, a paramedic training lab, a firearm simulation room, a driving simulation room, a workout space for law enforcement and firefighter training activities, a large meeting room, a fire training tower and additional water features for fire equipment.

The estimated cost for the Safety Center is $5 million and funds for the building and its features will be supplied by Building Fund proceeds.

Lewis said the choice to build the Safety Center was inspired by a myriad of people including internal staff, student interest surveys and external stakeholders.

In addition to the new Public Safety Center, Farley said Gordon Cooper will celebrate it's 50th Anniversary Tuesday, Oct. 15 with a bash at the GCTC campus.

For more information on the celebration visit www.facebook.com/GCTC50th.