Council approves $5.8 million EOC

December 09, 2011 at 9:51 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

A concept drawing of what the new Emergency Operations Center will look like when constructed.
A concept drawing of what the new Emergency Operations Center will look like when constructed.
The St. Charles Parish Council approved a $5.8 million contract for a new Emergency Operations Center that will be built across the street from the parish courthouse.

Aegis Construction was the low bidder for the project.

The new EOC will be 13,000 square feet and will offer five times more floor space than the current EOC, which is located in the basement of the St. Charles Parish Courthouse. When completed, the new building will have a dedicated communications room, a fully functioning operations room, sleeping quarters for both male and female EOC personnel and a self-sustaining food preparation facility.

An audio-visual room will allow real-time assessment of imagery and maps while affording a secure area to host briefings. The building will also be built to withstand both winds in excess of 200 mph and a man-made explosion caused by a bomb.

For years, parish officials have discussed the need for a much larger EOC. The current operations center has been utilized for more than 30 years and faces severe space limitations. Since 2006, the EOC has been activated 18 times for industry emergencies, 19 times for severe weather, and has been called to deal with 538 unusual events.

The parish has received $3.2 million in grants for the building’s construction, including $1.3 million from FEMA, $1 million from the state and $870,000 from Dow Chemical.

The council also approved a new $10.5 million community center. Groundbreaking for the center will take place Dec. 16.

View other articles written Jonathan Menard

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