Weeks after it was targeted for almost $70,000 in state budget cuts, the Regional Fire School in Fairfield was awarded an $11.8 million state grant to construct a new facility.

The State Bond Commission, meeting in Hartford on Tuesday, approved the award with little discussion. The new school will replace the post-World War II training center at 205 One Rod Highway that was formerly a Nike missile site purchased from the Defense Department.

Assistant Fire Chief Christopher Tracy said that the new buildings, including a 9,424-square-foot classroom building, a 5,600-square-foot support facility and a three-story, 3,200-square-foot "burn" building, will allow the region's fire trainees to learn in a state-of-the-art center.

"Basically, we have a 20-year-lifespan building that's been there for 65 years," Tracy said.

"It's an extraordinary opportunity for firefighters within the region and also law enforcement, public works and other agencies to come down and train."

Municipalities from as far away as Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey and New York state utilize the Fairfield training site, as do Connecticut communities from Greenwich to West Haven and as far north as Ridgefield.

Tracy said the award was the culmination of a 15-year effort. He added that he still hopes the General Assembly will consider restoring some of the $66,000 cut in training funds that Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's proposed budget suggested.

The governor's budget has cuts totaling nearly $750,000 to the state's nine regional schools -- money that subsidizes the costs of instructors, maintenance and utilities.

As a result, fees for firefighter training could increase, according to the Connecticut State Firefighters Association.