Commissioners receive emergency operations center proposals

Clallam County has received a pair of offers from Seattle-area architects to design a joint Emergency Operations Center and 9-1-1 dispatch center in west Port Angeles.

The three commissioners on Aug. 24 opened non-priced proposals from OAC Services, Inc. of Seattle and Lawhead Architects of Bellevue for the proposed joint public safety facility near William R. Fairchild International Airport.

“This is actually not a bid opening,” said board chairman/commissioner Mark Ozias, after he and commissioner Bill Peach each opened manila envelopes from the firms.

“This is a request for qualifications opening, which is why there is not a bid price.”

Commissioners remanded the qualifications to the Sheriff’s Office for a review and recommendation back to the board.

Clallam County and the city of Port Angeles hired OAC Services last year to complete a conceptual design of a joint public safety facility in an existing Port of Port Angeles building near the airport.

New facility planned

The current proposal is to build a new 12,000-square-foot modular structure on port property at 2417 W. 19th St. at the northeast corner of South O and West 19th streets.

The estimated $12.3 million facility would house the Clallam County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and Peninsula Communications (PenCom) dispatch center.

County officials have said the existing EOC in the basement of the Clallam County Courthouse would not survive a major earthquake. The airport will be a hub for emergency response activities after a disaster, proponents say.

Meanwhile, PenCom has outgrown its existing space in a portion of the Port Angeles Police Department at City Hall, city officials have said.

“For the county’s portion, for the emergency management module, we are real close to being able to completely fund that detailed design portion,” Project Manager Dale Jackson told commissioners in a July 26 work session.

“The PenCom portion of that would be funded by PenCom. So we’re looking at a total detailed design cost of close to $500,000, about $250,000 each, roughly.”

Jackson said the project had received a $1.2 million appropriation from the state legislature.

He said the facility was originally envisioned to be an 18,000-square-foot structure with a third of the space reserved for a west-side Port Angeles fire station.

“I think the city is finding they can’t fund that at this point, even with the type of funding that they’re looking at possibly from other sources,” Jackson told county commissioners July 26.

“I think as we move forward, what we’re going to find is that what we design is an emergency management facility and a public safety communication facility for PenCom, and that’s going to be about 12,000 square feet.”

Port Angeles Fire Chief Ken Dubuc and Mayor Kate Dexter were not immediately available for comment.