Cumberland County purchases old Department of Defense building for 911 center

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- When hurricanes Matthew and Florence hit, Cumberland County Emergency Management worked around the clock to respond to those disasters. When it was all over, officials realized they had an emergency of their own: lack of space

"We're growing emergency services. We really didn't have space for all the employees. Stuck in corners and cubicles," said Gene Booth, Emergency Management Coordinator, Cumberland County.

Now there's a solution, the old Department of Defense building will now house the county's first line of defense; 911 dispatchers and emergency management personnel.

"911 Dispatch is a very difficult job so anytime you can give them and provide them with a better work environment it will really be helpful to the citizens in the end game as well, " Booth said.

Developers said the old DOD building was naturally outfitting for communications with top-notch security.

The county purchased the Executive Place building for $5.1 million in November. Renovations and upgrades to the facility are estimated to run between $15 million and $17 million, with approximately $4 million of that total going toward the technology needs for a modern call center, Jackson said.

The County will be seeking grant funding from the N.C. 911 Board during the upcoming grant cycle for renovation, hardware, equipment, and associated technology costs.

For the County, the next steps are to determine if the City of Fayetteville is interested in partnering on the building through co-location or consolidation of 911 services and then moving to the next phase of architectural work. The city says they're open to it.

"Anytime we can look for an opportunity to consolidate and collaborate we would like to do that if it's what in the best interest of the taxpayers. It's a great facility it's very impressive. I was quite impressed with that. So the city council will discuss this in a more detailed manner," said Mitch Colvin, City of Fayetteville

Construction could take 12 to 18 months to complete.
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