The largest investor-owned water utility in West Virginia has contributed $25,000 to name the lobby of the WVU Extension Service State Fire Training Academy, which opened for business Tuesday (June 24) at the south end of the WVU Jacksons Mill airstrip.

West Virginia American Water is pleased to provide funding for the State Fire Training Academy,said Wayne Morgan, president of West Virginia American Water.We have a commitment to firefighters to maintain sound fire protection through our hydrants and infrastructure system, and this academy is a perfect fit for a partnership.

WVU Fire Service Extension (WVUFSE) will use the new fire academy to train volunteer and career firefighters and first-responders. The academy will be the site for the annual State Fire School, which trains several hundred first responders each year. The fire academy officially opened for business Tuesday, celebrating with a ribbon cutting ceremony and luncheon at the facility.

The lobby area will be the main entrance for the fire fighters and community groups who will use the facility on a regular basis. The contribution will be paid over five years and marks the first private support for the facility.

By supporting the WVU Extension Service State Fire Training Academy, West Virginia American Water is showing its true commitment to firefighters across the state and region,said David E. Miller, associate provost and director of WVU Extension Service.We are thrilled to have the company as a leader in supporting this training facility and believe this will serve as the first of many strong partnerships with companies throughout the state and nation who believe in training first-responders to meet the needs of our state.

The new $6.3 million facility, funded by Higher Education Policy Commission bonds, a grant from the Economic Development Agency and funding from the West Virginia Legislature, contains 15,665 square feet of offices and classrooms, as well as an 8,000 square-foot training arena.

West Virginia American Water provides high-quality and reliable water services to more than 581,000 people in the state. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK ).

Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest investor-owned U.S. water and wastewater utility company.With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs nearly 7,000 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to approximately 15.6 million people in 32 states and Ontario, Canada. More information can be found by

The gift was made through the WVU Foundation, a private non-profit corporation that generates and provides support for West Virginia University.