FREDERICK, Maryland -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Baltimore and New York Districts, in coordination with the Fort Detrick Fire Department, officially opened the Emergency Services Center at Fort Detrick, Md., Wednesday.

The $16.1 million, 42,000 square-foot facility supports the National Interagency Bio-defense Campus, and allows many organizations -- including the Fort Detrick Fire Department, the Provost Marshal and administrative support -- to work collaboratively in the same building to keep the base and community safe.

"This isn't just a building," said Baltimore District Commander Col. Trey Jordan. "It's enhanced emergency services capabilities to serve the Ft. Detrick community for years to come."

The facility, designed and constructed in a little more than two years, supports public safety with key features such as the six-bay emergency equipment garage with drive-through access, offices and meeting rooms for emergency services personnel, a fitness center, recreation room, dorms, dining areas and sleeping quarters for the police and fire department personnel working extended hours.

The center includes a fire station control system that automatically sends color-coded messages throughout the bays to initiate the doors to open. In an emergency, televisions will mute and the fire fighters will see the color-coded messages displayed on the screens, and will then respond accordingly, said Scott Ercolino, officer engineer for the Corps' Baltimore District.

Additionally, the cutting edge center includes an apparatus bay that initiates exhaust ventilation before the engine starts.

"It's very rare to have a ventilation system that initiates before the engines do," said Will Hettchen, the project manager for the Corps' Baltimore District. "But, this system helps to efficiently ventilate the air within the garage."

This facility also features an on-site, 50-foot training tower allowing firefighters the ability to conduct training without leaving the site, as well as a man-hole at the base of the tower for confined space training, said Hettchen.

Aside from the technical advancements, the center also helps protect the environment. Earning Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, Silver certification, the project features a vegetative green roof to improve air quality and permeable pavers to help reduce runoff to the Chesapeake Bay.

"Thanks to a partnership with the Corps of Engineers, this project reaches wider than just the community of Fort Detrick and what's inside the fence. It actually touches the community outside," said Col. Steven Middlecamp, commander of Fort Detrick.

Both Fort Detrick and parts of Frederick outside the installation, will be served by this center.