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Elk County officials reported recently that EADS Group members will go into the final design phase of their project as the 911 Center, now located along Boot Jack Road, makes the transition to the Industrial Technology Education Center [ITEC] building along Montmorenci Road.
While county officials have yet to officially purchase the building, headway in developing the property has been made.
"We've been talking back and forth with our engineers and the EADS Group has come up with a tentative schedule for us and they've asked to give them approval to go for final design for the project for the new 911 Center," said Elk County Commissioner June H. Sorg. "This would be contingent on the purchase of the building and ownership and contracts that we have out there."
Michael A. McAllister, director of the county's emergency management department, indicated that officials had to go through a lengthy process of reviewing the ITEC facility to ensure that it was indeed the perfect fit.
"When we first started looking at taking possession of the [ITEC] building, we had to go through it first to make sure all the codes fit, everything had to be there for legal reasons and for the codes," McAllister said. "Then we're also looking at our phone system and we just received our 'end-of-life' letter so we know that that system will no longer be supported in the very near future. With replacing that, we have to make sure that the new building can support that type of a system.
"Everything that we're looking at from our current facility, being able to move, what has to be replaced, the air and heat requirements, and the electronic requirements and the generator requirements, all that information had to be gathered initially to see what was going to be there. That has been completed and now they'll go in to work on the final design now that they know the basic requirements; they will have to implement that into this facility."
Sorg also mentioned the Boot Jack facility's issue with lightning strikes as yet another reason for the relocation.
"That was something we were very concerned about," Sorg said. "By relocating, this will hopefully stop a lot of that."
While McAllister said the most recent lightning strike last month was not a direct hit, it still caused damage.