Fort Bend County’s new Emergency Operations Center is another step closer to its March completion after county officials conducted the official beam signing ceremony for the future state-of-the-art center.
The center will directly assist the Fort Bend Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management coordinate emergency responses throughout the community, George said during Tuesday’s signing ceremony.
County Judge KP George was one of many county officials who placed his hard hat and safety harness on to etch his name into the structure he fought for since being elected.
His eyes gleamed as at the progress builders have made since February’s groundbreaking.
“Today is a very special day for Fort Bend County because when I came in in January 2019, we talked about getting a state-of-the-art emergency management building and I just wanted to say this is a product of good work from commissioner court members and me and all getting together to accomplishing this. This will be here long after we are gone.”
The $9.3 million emergency center at 307 Fort Street in Richmond occupies nearly 25,000 square feet and will serve as Fort Bend County’s hub for emergency management and disaster relief.
The facility can also withstand Category 4 hurricane winds which can reach between 130 to 156 miles per hour.
Pct. 1 Commissioner Vincent Morales was credited by George for working to acquire the land and collaborating with Richmond city officials. Morales was proud of his team’s cooperation with many different entities with the common goal of benefiting the 16th fastest growing county in America.
“It is important because when we have a disaster, we got to be able to respond and react quickly and this state-of-the-art facility will bring that type of facility that we have never had,” Morales said. “We operated over at a former jail and which I tell you, it was challenging for our emergency management. This will actually help us monitoring any disaster going forward.”
Pct. 4 Commissioner Ken DeMerchant recalls the “deplorable” conditions of the past.
“They took on water during Harvey and can you imagine working when your equipment is sitting in a foot of water,” DeMerchant said. “This is a remedy for that and so we can respond to events like Hurricane Harvey.”
In September 2020, county commissioners approved a resolution to fund the design of the new EOC, which was $1.2 million and was paid through general obligation bonds.