Construction work on the $13.2-million facility on East Apache underway in April 2013 and Thursday, city officials including Mayor Dewey Bartlett got a look inside. 

The center won't open until sometime in November, but TCC officials said the center will make a big difference in Tulsa and area fire departments' ability to fight fires. 

"What it does for the city is incredible in terms of providing training not only for our firefighters, but area, regional, business, industry and out of state.  And its going to expand and expand," said John Gibson, Provost at TCC's northeast campus.

When the center opens, it will provide unique training opportunities for TCC students as well as rookie and experienced firefighters. It will replace the Tulsa Fire Department's current training facility built in 1952 and will include a fire station where cadets and students can train in a building exactly like where they will work as firefighters. 

TCC says the new center will use computer controlled, natural gas-fired training simulators. The props will provide realistic fire training scenarios including the intense heat, flames, smoke, sounds and overall chaos of a real fire situation, but with control features for the safety of trainees and staff.

Money from a 2005 bond issue and Tulsa Community College helped pay for the center.