Cape Girardeau County held a groundbreaking ceremony on Friday, Nov. 3, for its new Emergency Operations Center at 3555 Veterans Memorial Drive in Cape Girardeau.
The groundbreaking was originally scheduled for Monday, Oct. 30, but was rescheduled due to weather conditions at the construction site.
Sides Construction is completing the $4.8 million construction project, which is being funded by the county’s American Rescue Plan Act funds.
The building was designed by Dille Pollard Architecture. Koehler Engineering & Land Surveying, Strickland Engineering and Toth & Associates provided engineering work for the project.
Emergency Management Director Sam Herndon said the building will be around 14,000 square feet in total, with around 8,000 square feet of the building dedicated to garage space to store the county’s emergency vehicles and equipment.
Herndon said the county currently stores this equipment in various places throughout the county, which makes it difficult to maintain or to quickly retrieve in the event of an emergency.
In addition, Herndon said much of the equipment is currently stored outdoors. “We were looking at stuff yesterday sitting out in the weather,” he said. “This is definitely needed so we can keep our equipment nice and in a ready condition.”
The building is also designed to include offices for the emergency management department and meeting space to be used by local, state or federal agencies in the event of an emergency.
“This facility is going to be excellent for us,” Herndon said. “We are also looking forward to being able to offer this up to other agencies in the area in the event that they have a disaster and they need a facility or they need our equipment. We are pretty excited that this is getting started.”
Footings for the building has already been poured and precast wall panels have begun to be delivered to the site. Herndon said installation of the precast panels is expected to begin this week.
Herndon said the building is expected to be completed next year.