Archive for Thursday, July 19, 2007

County to build ‘hardened’ communications center in Olathe

July 19, 2007

With a goal to enhance the levels of public safety and security for Johnson County citizens for decades to come, the Johnson County Commission acting as the Johnson County Public Building Commission approved a contract earlier this month, with McCownGordon Construction to build the new County Communications Center in Olathe.

The contract totaled $14,250,000 for the design and construction of the 46,000- square-foot, two-story project with a total authorization of $20,975,000, including the purchase of specialized communications equipment for the center.

The vote to approve the contract was unanimous.

A public ground-breaking ceremony is tentatively scheduled at 11 a.m. Wednesday,

Aug.15, at the construction site located on the county government complex at 119th Street and Ridgeview Road.

The communications center will be built to accommodate present and future needs of the county law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services. It will function for both natural disasters and human-caused events like terrorism.

The center will be a secured "hardened" building with 12-inch walls designed to survive a F-4 tornado with winds up to 240 mph and remain functional. The building also is designed for energy efficiency, including a "green" roof of sedum, a type of groundcover plant.

Construction is scheduled to start later this year with completion by summer 2008. The new facility is expected to become fully operational in fall 2008.

County Emergency Communications Center director Walt Way, who has long advocated center, said provide a safe haven for communications under the most extreme conditions.

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