South Sound 911 moving closer to getting $60 million facility


TACOMA, Wash. -- When Pierce County taxpayers voted to improve the county's 911 system in 2011, it meant state-of-the-art technology, a brand new building, and 911 dispatchers serving 41 local police and fire agencies under one roof.

"We have several hundred very dedicated employees who are answering 911 calls and dispatching police and fire services as we speak," said Andrew Neiditz, the executive director of South Sound 911.

But those workers, 4 years later, remain spread out at various buildings across Pierce County. South Sound 911 says they have looked at 30 different sites for the Public Safety Communications Center.

"We did evaluate a large number of sites," said Neiditz. "We had a preferred site a year ago and unfortunately there were unstable soils on that site and we had to let that go."

So now South Sound 911 is in the final stages of selecting another piece of land - the location of the former Puget Sound Hospital on Tacoma's Pacific Avenue.

"I believe we're extremely close to moving forward with this site," said Neiditz. "There do not appear to be any fatal flaws."

The old hospital on the property would be demolished and replaced with two large builds that would become the public safety communications center that voters have paid for.

"My message to the citizens of the county is we are fully committed to support all the police and fire departments as we make this facility happen," said Neiditz.

The project will cost more than $60 million.

The final assessment of the property will be complete in 30 days. If all checks outs construction will be underway in March of 2017 with the completion of facility slated for 2019.

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