St. Charles County Government has announced the launch of a design-build process for its new emergency operations and communications facility. The facility will be located on TR Hughes Boulevard behind the existing Police Department building in O’Fallon.
This new facility will house the day-to-day operations of the Department of Emergency Communications, St. Charles County Police Department’s Division of Emergency Management and a data center for county information operations and the county-wide emergency radio communications.
Currently, the county’s data center and some offices of the Department of Emergency Communications are located in the County Administration Building in the city of St. Charles. The Department of Emergency Communications also operates dispatching services and 911 operations from an office building in Wentzville.
The Police Department Division of Emergency Management is located in the basement of the county’s jail in St. Charles.
“This new facility will vastly improve the functionality of both departments,” commented Director of Emergency Communications Jeff Smith. “It will provide much-needed space and a secure, resilient facility for public safety, emergency preparedness and critical response.”
The St. Charles County council passed an ordinance for this project in 2015 establishing the design-build procedure and in March authorized utilization of the design-build process for the facility.
This is the first time St. Charles County has engaged in the design-build process, as opposed to the design-bid-build process. All other county buildings have been constructed using the latter process.
“Benefits of a design-build delivery method include time and cost savings, as well as improved risk management,” said St. Charles County Construction Manager Cory Bextermueller about this design choice. “Additionally, this process is known to increase creativity and innovation by maximizing the strengths of the contractor. We feel confident this is the best process for the County given the highly specialized nature of this type of facility.”
The county has issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for an owner’s consultant to assist the county throughout the design-build process. This includes the development of a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a design-build team, proposal evaluation, construction and close out of the project.
Consultant qualifications are due by June 2 and the county anticipates it will solicit design-build teams in early 2017.
“We are excited to kick off this process,” said County Executive Steve Ehlmann. “Our County team is fully committed to the hard work and time investment required to bring this important facility to fruition. We look forward to seeing the innovative designs and technological approaches that come forward by means of the design-build process.”
“As St. Charles County’s population continues to grow, so does the demand for the services that this new emergency facility will provide,” stated Mary Enger, Director of Communications for St. Charles County Government, in the press release regarding the emergency center. “Now is the time to consolidate all of these operations into one, mission-critical facility that will sustain 365/24/7 operations during any type of emergency event of extreme condition.”
It is anticipated that the new emergency facility will be operational in 2019.
For more information on the RFQ process or to submit a bid, visit sccmo.org/bids.aspx.