The Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved a $20 million project to replace the existing Riverside County Emergency Operations Center with one at a different location in Riverside, using federal money disbursed for coronavirus mitigation to pay for it.
County Emergency Management Department Director Bruce Barton sought the board’s approval for the project, telling the supervisors that the current center in downtown Riverside is “out of the Cold War” and posed challenges when it was activated to contend with the COVID-19 emergency, beginning in March.
The center has remained in operation since that time.
The county Executive Office solicited prospective contractors to work on the new operations center, which will be located on a 3.8-acre site at 450 Alessandro Blvd., where the Western Municipal Water District previously had its offices.
Hensel Phelps Construction Co., headquartered in Greeley, Colorado, was selected from a list of three vendors to handle the job, according to the Executive Office.
The new Emergency Operations Center will occupy a 16,826-square foot space, complete with new flooring, roofing, backup generators, a new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning unit and other systems, officials said.
The county will initially pay for the project using general fund dollars, but according to officials, all appropriations will ultimately be covered by drawing on the $431 million the coronavirus rescue package the county received four months ago.
There was no word on when construction will start or be completed.