HOUSTON (KIAH) – Houston Community College announces a $30 million plan for what could be the nation’s largest flood simulation center.

Dr. Cesar Maldonado, the Chancellor at HCC, says it’s their “Resiliency Initiative” initiative started years ago following several destructive natural disasters in the Houston area.

Maldonado says this project could have a positive impact on Houston’s economy. This opportunity allows first responders to start training as early as the Fall of 2022. Classes will enhance the skills needed to handle things like floods and swift water safety.

In addition, educators said the training program could positively change the career trajectory of many first responders. It could also lead to more income and higher salaries. The goal is to make our emergency response teams more prepared and response ready in the case of a major storm.

“It’s a real 360-degree view of supporting the community through training for resiliency. So it’s not just one vertical segment of HCC. We’re working across the entire district to bring together healthcare, emergency management, and project management. There are many components to it,” Dr. Maldonado.

Maldonado says this initiative will not impact taxpayers. Funding will come from private donors, government funding, and revenue generated from training and classes.

School officials say HCC is about 40 percent done with the design for the flood simulation center. They expect the facility to be completed and open by 2024.