Visalia Emergency Communication Center (VECC) named Project of the Year by American Association of Public Works/Central Valley
By Reggie Ellis @Reggie_SGN
VISALIA – The men and women that make up Visalia’s first responders now have a home to match their decorated dedication.
On Nov. 9, the American Association of Public Works/Central California Chapter awarded Visalia’s Emergency Communications Center (VECC) as its Project of the Year. The news was shared with the Visalia City Council at its Dec. 5 meeting by Mike Porter, the city’s civil engineer and project manager for the facility.
“Thank you for supporting this project over the years,” Porter said. “The people of Visalia are well served by this project.”
The project was submitted by Griffin Structures, which provided construction management services throughout the design and construction of the building. The $12 million, 19,000-square foot steel and concrete structure houses the City’s 911 Dispatch, Emergency Operations Center (EOC), Fire Department Administration, Traffic Management Center, Information Systems Center and various other services. The two-story facility includes an additional $6 million in sophisticated electronic, communications and technology equipment and software including computer-aided dispatch and record management systems (CAD/RMS), a secure data center, and uninterrupted power supply (UPS) rooms. Situated on 4.2 acres near the intersection of Burke and Tipton, the first building constructed in the City’s east downtown future civic center complex. To ensure that no service was interrupted during any phase of the project, Griffin worked with design consultants to prepare the complex plan and timeline to transition existing operations to the newly constructed VECC.
“Thanks to the men and women who work there for waiting patiently for this project,” Porter said.
The City funded the project using $8.5 million in Civic Center reserve money and another $600,000 from the General Fund. The rest, about $20 million, will be financed over the next 15 years. The debt service on the financing will be paid for through a combination of Police Impact Fees, Measure T (public safety tax measure) and the General Fund.
The Convention Center’s existing debt was refinanced in 2015, which added an additional 10 years to the original debt but lowered the payment from $1.4 million to $0.7 million. The combination of the Convention Center debt plus the VECC debt creates a total debt service payment of $1.17 million, which is less than the original payment for the Convention Center.