The old plant, located in northwest Piqua at 9300 U.S. 66, closed last fall. The training center is expected to begin holding classes sometime in October and portions of it could be renovated for classrooms, Sommer said.
“It’s huge for us because it drives traffic into town,” Sommer said. “When we bring that kind of activity into town its people eating at our restaurants and staying in our hotels.”
The training sessions typically include anywhere from 60 to 500 people, Sommer said.
He said he expects several southwest Ohioans to take advantage of the training center, which will be quite a bit closer than the state fire schools in Bowling Green and Columbus.
Sommer believes the center will become something of a regional center for all of southwest Ohio.
BGSU has operated a state firefighter training school since 1974, Sommer said. Earlier this week, BGSU made news when it was reported the college was exploring the possibility of establishing a location in Sandusky, in partnership with Cedar Point.