What was once a stopover for visitors to the National Corvette Museum became a training ground for the Bowling Green Fire Department last week.
The Country Hearth Inn, located across from the museum, is slated to be demolished. But before being leveled, the BGFD ran through a number of training scenarios over three days.
Training at the site, which was acquired by the National Corvette Museum, began Wednesday and continued to the end of the week.
“Each shift commander gets to come out with their crew and practice any training or drill they want to practice,” BGFD spokeswoman Katie McKee said.
On Friday afternoon, three engines converged on the two-story structure to practice a scenario in which firefighters rescued a victim in a structure fire.
By that time, a number of windows had already been broken and holes poked into the roof in prior training scenarios.
The motel stopped booking guests in the late spring of this year and has sat vacant since then.
The museum acquired the property around that time, and has plans to demolish the property beginning Monday.
Museum officials say they acquired the property to make the campus of the museum more aesthetically pleasing. There are no plans now to develop the property after the motel is demolished.
“The demolition of the structure adds to the beautification of the National Corvette Museum’s campus and also allows us to support our community by providing a training space for our local fire department and ensuring the proper recycling of the building’s materials to help protect our environment,” museum president and CEO Sharon Brawner said in a news release.
The museum’s acquisition of the motel was a boon for the BGFD, which was contacted by museum officials several weeks ago about the prospect of using the property as a training ground.
“This allows our department to get hands-on training in a scenario we might not otherwise get to have training in,” McKee said. “By getting these acquired structures, we can go in and familiarize ourselves with the layout, run through different scenarios and training drills to be prepared for any structure similar to this.”
Bowling Green construction firm Scott and Ritter will demolish the motel, and plans are to recycle the concrete and other materials.
Furniture and appliances were removed from the motel and donated to the Bowling Green International Center.