Livingston County is getting a new state-of-the-art 911 Central Dispatch facility.

The Livingston County Board of Commissioners met Monday night and approved a resolution authorizing construction. The cost is estimated at $6.3 (m) million, which will be paid from 911 Central Dispatch reserves earmarked for the project. Plans call for constructing and moving all operations into a new facility at the current site on Highlander Way. The new facility will be built directly behind the current building and parking lot, and the old building will be demolished once operations are moved.

Project planning has been ongoing since the beginning of 2015 to determine where to build and overall costs according to Livingston County 911 Director Chad Chewning. He thanked county administration and commissioners for their foresight and help in getting the project moving, adding staff is excited to see a new facility. Chewning says the current building was constructed in the late 1970’s and was actually a district court that was converted into a 911 center. With the increase in volumes and staffing, Chewning tells WHMI they’ve outgrown the building and it doesn’t meet current security standards or requirements. The new facility will also be a secure building for the staff. Chewning noted the new building and main dispatch floor will serve as a tornado shelter so 911 operators won’t have to leave in the event of a tornado or other severe weather. He says it’s being built to sustain an EF3 tornado along with several high wind occurrences, so staff will be very secure and can continue to function throughout whatever event is occurring.

Following Monday’s approvals, Chewning says they can start moving forward to get project bids out. The goal is to try to break ground in mid-June and then hopefully be in the new building 12-14 months later. He acknowledged that is a pretty aggressive schedule, considering the content and how the building needs to constructed.

The county earlier went out to bid for a construction management firm to lead the project. JS Vig Construction of Taylor was recommended and will oversee construction of the new facility, as well as demolition of the old building.(JM)