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We opened this 65,000-square-foot facility in 2006 complete with ten (10) state-of-the-art classrooms, six (6) large shop bays, a welding shop, and two wash bays. Located conveniently between Duluth and the Twin Cities in Minnesota, the facility includes 30,000 square feet of enclosed space to serve as an indoor area for winter/all-weather training.

Since there was no access to natural gas for heating this far outside an urban area, Minnesota-based Krech, O’Brien, Mueller & Associates (KOMA) helped Local 49 design a vast, efficient geothermal system with over 122 wells in the grassy area adjacent to the main facility. The geo-thermal system provides in-floor heating throughout the mechanical areas and shop bays. A heat pump system supplies the Training Center with hot water. There is also a massive make-up air system.

KOMA also designed the building’s orientation to take advantage of east-west breezes that flow through the shop bays, and the materials used in the exterior siding help with heat gain during winter months.