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Covington City Council approves engineering firm for burn building

COVINGTON — The Covington City Council unanimously approved Elliot, LeBoeof & McEwain engineering firm to design a live fire burn building to be used by city and county firefighters.

The burn building will be part of the training facility being built on Piper Road off Ga. Highway 36, which will be used jointly by Newton County Fire Service and the Covington Fire Department.

This facility will be home to the training section and will include classrooms, engine bays, training tower, drafting pit, extrication area and driving course.

Covington Fire Chief John McNeil asked the council to forgo the request for proposal process and instead choose EL&M, which proposed a design and construction phase fee of $41,570.

EL&M specializes in planning and designing public safety training centers. The engineering company has structured 10 fire and police stations and worked on more than 240 training center projects in 32 states, Canada and Egypt.

“We wanted to use the firm based on the their expertise and the fact that they’ve already designed a house like what we want before,” McNeil said.

The building would be a one-and-half story, about 1,600 square feet, reinforced concrete structure used for live fire training.

It would provide a harsh training environment that can undergo high temperatures, thermal shock, direct hose streams, abuse from tools and equipment and repetitive fires.