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New Training Center Construction Topped Off & On Track

January 20, 2022


ROANE COUNTY, TN – On January 11 the Roane County Industrial Development Board (RCIDB) held a topping off ceremony as the last beam was placed on the Emergency Response Training Facility (ERTF) being constructed on Highway 95 in Oak Ridge.  The ceremony, held during a building’s construction, dates back to the Dark Ages when a tree and flag are attached to the last beam to symbolize good luck, continued growth, prosperity and a safe job environment.   The Star Spangled Banner was performed acappella by Cindy Eskridge after the beam was raised and secured. 

“We couldn’t be where we stand today without the contributions of hundreds of people,” said RCIDB Chairman Jim Palmer, “Nothing like this happens overnight.  It takes vision and then years of persistence and dedication.”

Palmer recognized many of those during the opening remarks that included representatives from Consolidated Nuclear Security (CNS Y-12), National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and Department of Energy (DOE); along with County, State & US Legislators; Roane State Community College and the project team selected - Lawler Wood, Design Innovation and Merit Construction, who are working hard to keep the construction job on time and within budget.

Located on Highway 95, the state-funded ERTF will be part of the Oak Ridge Enhanced Technology and Training Center (ORETTC) campus, along with a federally-funded training center.  The ERTF will provide industrial-focused training that includes firefighting and advanced search and rescue.  The facility will be enhanced with state-of-the-art augmented and virtual reality training platforms to provide trainees with exposure in extremely dangerous industrial emergency response scenarios without the need of associated hazardous materials.  It will also help develop innovative approaches for emerging technological challenges and risk mitigation for critical infrastructure.   Construction is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2022.  To learn more about the project visit 

The Roane Alliance is the umbrella organization over the RCIDB, Visitors Bureau and Chamber, and whose mission is to create an environment and unified voice to promote job creation, economic development, enhanced quality of life, education, and workforce through shared efforts.  To learn more about the RCIDB visit