April 23, 2015 Vol. 14 No. 22
Council OKs next step for fire-training complex
Written by Jeanne Davant   

Makerspace grand opening

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Top, Pikes Peak Makerspace members Greg Cook, left, and Harry George are pictured with InMoov, a life-size humanoid robot created with a 3D printer and designed with open source software. One of the projects involving InMoov is the creation of a prosthetic lower arm for an area girl. Demonstrations of 3D printing, along with other technologies available at Pikes Peak Makerspace, are planned at the group’s grand opening Saturday, April 25, at the Manitou Art Center, 515 Manitou Ave.

Second from top, Chris Vestal adjusts a 3D printer at the Pikes Peak Makerspace facility located at the Manitou Art Center, 515 Manitou Ave. Following a grand opening celebration Saturday, members of the group plan to print a 3D plastic model of Pikes Peak from the summit of the 14,112-foot mountain on Sunday in an attempt to be recognized by Guinness World Records.

Third from top, Anthony Abraham looks over a sheet of wood in which designs have been carved out using a laser cutter.

Bottom, Anthony Abraham is pictured working on a metal welding project. A variety of special tools are available to members of at Pikes Peak Makerspace in Manitou Springs, including tools for working with metal, wood and plastics.

Photos by Larry Ferguson


The Manitou Springs Fire Department has run out of room at the Fire Station to store equipment and supplies, and the department must send volunteer firefighters to Fort Carson or the U.S. Air Force Academy for live training.

To remedy those two issues, the Fire Department is partnering with architecture students at the University of Colorado at Denver to design a new complex that would include a burn simulation structure, a classroom and storage.

Manitou Springs City Council signed off Tuesday on Fire Chief John Forsett’s request for $2,174 to begin the design process. The Colorado Department of Local Affairs will provide an equal amount to cover the total cost of the project.

The students will design a complex of buildings that would be constructed on a site adjacent to the city maintenance yard at the Public Services Facility. Two proposed sites have been identified: one just southwest of the sand storage facility, and another farther south on Public Services property.

“We're looking at something conceptually so we can put together a facility that serves more than our purposes alone,” Forsett said.

Student interns from CU-Denver will create conceptual designs for the project that will be presented to Council and the public. A local architect will do the final design.

The burn simulation structure will be composed of Condex boxes specially prepared for use in fire training, and the complex will include storage for four vehicles and other materials and equipment.

“We do a lot of regional training with our partners,” Forsett said. When it comes to training in a live environment, the department has to schedule training sessions at Fort Carson or the Air Force Academy. That can be difficult, he said.

In February, Council approved $29,864 to replace the leaking roof on the downtown Fire Station and $25,900 to fix cracks in the station bay floor and repair the drainage system.

But there’s no room to expand the building to increase storage. The Fire Department rents a storage unit and has materials and equipment stored at the Public Services Facility and other sites scattered around town, Forsett said.

Citizens will have several opportunities to view and give feedback on the proposed designs. The first public meeting on the project will be held May 13, Planning Director Wade Burkholder said. Details about that and subsequent meetings will be posted on the city’s Web site.

The department won’t know how much it will cost to construct the complex until the final plans are drawn, Forsett said.

Council members enthusiastically voted to finance the design project through Council’s community projects fund.

“I support whatever training we can give these individuals to keep them safe,” Councilman Gary Smith said. “We are fortunate in this community that we have them.”