A Woodlake company was awarded an $11.3 million contract to build the Visalia Emergency Communication Center.
The company will make the site improvements and build a 18,790-square-foot, two-story building on a portion of the city’s future civic center complex east of Burke Street and north of the proposed School Avenue extension, along Jennings Ditch.
The building will house the 911 dispatch center, emergency operations center, Fire Department administration, traffic management center and information services center.
“This is a project that has been a long time coming,” said City Manager Michael Olmos. “The goal of the City Council was to provide a state of the art public safety dispatch facility and emergency operations center to serve the needs of the community.”
The development will allow the city to move dispatchers from cramped quarters in the police station’s basement to a better working space, Olmos said. It will also become the control center for the city’s traffic lights. That will allow technicians to synchronize or change lights from one location in the event of an accident to help police control traffic, he said.
While the cost of the building and site improvements total about $11 million, the entire project – which includes new computer software, a radio system with a tower and furnishings – will cost $22 million. The city will fund the project with $8.5 million in reserves and $600,000 from a state revenue program. The rest will be financed.
Construction is expected to begin in the next 30 to 45 days and be finished in July 2017.