The City of Roanoke and Virginia 811 (VA811) held a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony today for a new Communications Center that houses the city’s E-911 Center and the VA811 Contact Center. Located at 1830 Blue Hills Circle (in the Roanoke Centre for Industry and Technology), the facility creates a culture that promotes innovative thinking, information sharing, and an increased awareness and interaction with our community.
The event also recognized the installation of a new work of public art, “Guidance Tower,” by artist David Sheldon, which was commissioned for the Center to recognize both the important work of our E-911 staff and the Virginia 811 team that occurs in the facility, and the partnership between E911 and Virginia 811.
“How exciting it is to celebrate the beginning of a new era in emergency communications, and this special public/private partnership to provide those communications,” said Mayor Sherman Lea. “This new facility will set the stage for continued growth in technology and development of the Center for decades to come.”
The city’s E-911 Center receives more than 250,000 calls each year; Virginia 811 receives more than one-and-a-quarter-million utility locate requests (“tickets”) each year. To accommodate both agencies’ volume of calls or contacts, the new building is divided into three areas—a contact center for each agency and common spaces.
“VA811 has had the unique opportunity to create a public/private partnership with Roanoke City,” said Virginia 811’s Former CEO and Founder, Rick Pevarski. “This partnership provided the ability to build a “state-of-the-art” data center, allowing VA811 to be well positioned to utilize technology enhancements for many years into the future.”
The total budget for the project was $15.7 million, which included upgrades to computer and radio systems. The City’s share of the Project budget was $9.4 million, while the portion attributable to Virginia Utility Protection Service was $6.3 million dollars.
For more information, contact Sonya Roman, Manager of the city’s E-911 Center, at (540) 853-2945 or [email protected]; or Natalie Soucie with VA811 at (540) 529-2785 or [email protected].