A new state-of-the art Alabama Criminal Justice Training Center built by White-Spunner Construction, Inc. wowed Alabama Gov. Bob Riley and other state officials when it officially opened recently. The $24.5 million center located adjacent to Wallace Community College will train and house Alabama state troopers and corrections officers. The facility also will conduct in-service training and police training for local, city and county departments as well as other state agencies. This modern world-class center replaces the former training facility at Craig Field in Selma, where fighter pilots were trained over a period of three wars. That outdated facility was housed in 1950s-era buildings whose leaky roofs and constant need of repair had become too costly to maintain. The firing range will continue to be housed at the Craig Field site, but everything else has been moved to the community college site, where manicured landscaping surrounds the buildings. “This new training facility is something Alabama has needed for a long time,” Gov. Riley stated at the recent ceremony. “Our law enforcement officers deserve the best training center we can provide, and this new center is state-of-the-art.” Mobile-based White-Spunner Construction, Inc. – a general contracting, design build and construction management firm with branch offices in Austin, TX and Gulfport, MS - completed the project on schedule and within budget in August of this year despite heavy rain last fall and winter that threatened to slow construction. “White-Spunner Construction is honored to have been involved in this exciting project,” said John White-Spunner, CEO, White-Spunner Construction. “We are very proud of this facility and it is especially nice to receive accolades from Governor Riley and other state officials upon its opening.” In April 2009, the award-winning general contracting, design-build and construction management company broke ground on the training facility that features a campus complex of six buildings covering more than 100,000 square feet. The new training center has two academic buildings - one for trainees with the Department of Public Safety and one for those with the Department of Corrections. The Department of Public Safety Academic Building is 14,012 square feet with six classrooms and firearms training simulator. The Department of Corrections Academic Building is 12,072 square feet with three classrooms and a firearms vault. Each of the two departments has a 33,803-square-foot dormitory with 75 sleeping units, and the new training center has a dining that is 8,025 square feet and seating for 200. The Alabama Criminal Justice Training Center was built with funds from the 2007 education bond issue. (Photo: John White-Spunner and Gov. Bob Riley) State officials who walked through the facility on Thursday used words like "wow," "fantastic" and "unbelievable" to describe it. At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Riley said he would put the facility up against any comparable training center "in the world." "This is a fantastic facility," said Riley, who took part in a walking tour of the main training building, stopping to try his hand at a $156,000 driving simulator.