Kristen Hess, principal architect and chief executive officer of HH Architecture in Raleigh, was the lead on the design. Barnhill Contracting Co. is the project’s general contractor.

“When we think about what it means to save lives, the people who are going to train here are our biggest heroes,’’ Hess said. “All of our firefighters and first responders need to be proud of what they do and when they see this facility, they will be proud that they learned and trained here.”

Vander Fire Chief Richard Bradshaw said the center will provide a tremendous training opportunity for those in the community and in surrounding counties.

The fire and rescue center is at least on schedule, if not ahead, officials said.

The next phases of the project to be completed in 2022 include more specialized, situation-specific, hands-on training areas, FTCC officials said. The indoor swift water rescue training center will allow year-round training for water rescues in dangerous water situations and simulate wind, high water, low visibility or darkness. This will be the first in the state and the largest in the Southeast.

Jami McLaughlin covers Spring Lake for CityView TODAY. She can be reached at