Potential sites selected for new South Sound 911 public safety communications center

South Sound 911, in cooperation with Pierce County, is entering into agreements for two properties for the construction of its new public safety communications center – a preferred site in Fircrest and an alternate site in Tacoma. The public safety communications center will house operations from six consolidated and collocated 911 centers, as well as administrative and public services.

The preferred and alternate sites, located at 2119 Mildred St. W. in Fircrest and 6700 S. Adams St. in Tacoma, were selected after several months of study and discussion with South Sound 911’s governing boards. The agreements lock in the right to purchase either property for 180 days while South Sound 911 further evaluates the sites and selects a development team. The agency will not purchase both properties.

The selected site will house two buildings and parking for employees and visitors. One building, approximately 55,000 sq. ft. in size, will house 911 and dispatch operations and a municipal emergency operations center (EOC). It will be constructed to meet the National Fire Protection Association, National Emergency Number Association (NENA), and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) standards for public safety communications centers.

The second building, approximately 25,000 sq. ft. in size, will house South Sound 911’s administrative offices and Information Services department, which offers a public counter for services such as fingerprinting and the processing of concealed pistol license applications. The administrative building will be constructed to meet general office and commercial building standards.

Potential development teams were selected from a request for qualifications (RFQ) issued in June. As a part of the competitive process, a request for proposals (RFP) was issued Friday to the four qualified development teams, and South Sound 911 expects to make a selection in early 2015.

“I am confident that no matter which team is ultimately selected, we will have a public safety communications center that is highly functional, efficient, safe and secure for employees, the community and their trust in our services – whether it is in Fircrest or Tacoma,” South Sound 911 Executive Director Andrew Neiditz said.

Project completion is expected in approximately two years.

In November 2011, residents of Pierce County voted for a 0.1 percent sales tax increase to support public safety, which included the consolidation of 911 centers. For nearly two years, the agency has been working on projects and processes in support of the consolidation and collocation effort, including the completion of a facility planning study last year.

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