Health Emergency Response Occupations
The Cities of Cottage Grove and Woodbury, Minnesota constructed a regional state-of-the-art immersive training center for police, fire, and emergency medical services (EMS). The facility will be constructed on an undeveloped 9-acre parcel adjacent to the Cottage Grove City Hall and Public Safety Building, located at 10125 85th Street South, Cottage Grove, MN. This facility will provide the necessary training environments needed for training and will provide a facility to outside agency partners and organizations. This also includes use of the facility for public training opportunities. Our facility is the largest training facility in the State of MN with our indoor training areas of ~48,000 square feet and our outdoor training areas featuring ~150,000 square feet of secure training space. With a total combined training space available of approximately ~198,000 square feet.
The State of Minnesota provided $1.46 million for pre-design and design of the building and an additional $9.5 million bonding appropriation to construct, furnish, and equip the facility. The South Washington County Telecommunications Commission and South Washington Watershed District agreed to contribute funding for the project. Cottage Grove and Woodbury split the remaining costs to construct the facility. Total cost of the project was just over $20.5 million.
Early stages of construction taking shape
Why is this training facility needed?
Cottage Grove and Woodbury provide police, fire, and emergency medical services using an integrated public safety model. This allows all three disciplines to work cooperatively to serve the community while reducing costs through shared services. In-service training is a critical component in supporting this model and plays a crucial role in supporting staff who train together as a team.
The current locations available for hosting this type of training are insufficient and local emergency responders are traveling long distances to accomplish their training needs. This facility will better prepare the region’s emergency responders for doing their work – today and as the region continues to grow in the future.
The flexible training space will allow multiple public safety agencies and disciplines to work collaboratively, and encourage mutually beneficial relationships between its partners, improving the quality of training they could attain separately.
The facility will create opportunities for hosting community-based safety education and training such as CPR, firearms, and recreational vehicle safety training.
Project Funding and Schedule
The project budget is estimated at $20.5 million. The State of Minnesota provided $1.46 million for pre-design and design of the building and an additional $9.5 million bonding appropriation to construct, furnish, and equip the facility. The South Washington County Telecommunications Commission and South Washington Watershed District agreed to contribute funding for the project. Cottage Grove and Woodbury will split the remaining costs to construct the facility.
Construction began the fall of 2018 and was completed in November 2019.
City of Cottage Grove
City of Woodbury
LEO A Daly, Architect
August 20, 2019 Construction progress
October 2019 Exterior Completed
The Cities of Cottage Grove and Woodbury, along with LEO A Daly and RJM Construction, held a groundbreaking ceremony on Oct. 11, 2018.
A LITTLE HISTORY
First manager hired to get HERO Center operational and staffed.
In 2019, the Facility Operations Committee (FOC) was tasked with hiring a manager to oversee getting the HERO Center operational and staffed. The FOC committee selected Daniel Anselment for this role, commenting "While his roots certainly demonstrated a connection to the Twin Cities, it was his experience as a law enforcement trainer and his recent work managing several training facilities in Tennessee at the UT National Forensic Academy that ultimately won the endorsement from leaders in both Cottage Grove and Woodbury (who jointly own and operate the HERO Center)." Anselment was brought on board in July of 2019 and assumed the responsibility of handling the remaining construction project while working to get the policies and procedures implemented.
Anselment built the HERO center website and implemented changes to how the center would be reserved by public safety agencies. Anselment identified areas in which the use of the facility could be expanded to allow for multiple agencies to train at the facility at one time. Contracts and partnerships were formed, and the HERO center quickly became a highly sought training center in the east metro area serving over 40+ law enforcement agencies from local, county, state and federal all using the HERO center for their training needs. A partnership with a university's law enforcement SKILLS program was also secured and that University holds their training program at the HERO center.