Construction crews started work Monday on the new Randolph County 911 center. The facility will be located in the Emerson-Phares building on the Elkins-Randolph County Airport property.
The $3.8 million dollar project will offer the county more space and upgraded equipment, and officials say the new facility came after years of hard work.
“We’ve been working on this project for over three years now. When we did the studies in 2015, our call volume had increased by 400%,” said Office of Emergency Management Director Cindy Hart.
“We’ve never negated on the ability for 911 to answer the calls. It’s just we are literally on top of each other.”
The Office of Emergency Management, Floodplain Management, Mapping and Addressing, along with the duties of the 911 center are all working under one roof.
Officials said the center has been at capacity for the last five years and there’s no room for expansion. Potential regionalization is a major consideration for the new facility.
“We’ve picked up a lot of information that the state is giving serious consideration to the way the funding mechanisms work for counties. With 55 counties, there are 55 911 centers,” said Randolph County Commission President Michael Taylor.
The new facility will employ more dispatchers and give the county an opportunity to expand in the future.
“One center would serve several counties,” continued Taylor.
“We want to be ready, willing, and able to fulfill that need, not only the need of our citizens here in Randolph County, but those of our neighboring counties should they want to partner with us.”
Officials said the new center should be finished and ready to take calls by March of next year.