MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The new Monongalia County 911 Call Center is a few weeks away from becoming fully operational.

MECCA 911 Director Jim Smith offered an update on the relocation to the new $10 million facility, which includes a goal to have all the operations set up in the facility by the end of March. The approximately 10,000-square-foot facility that will serve as the county’s emergency command center is now waiting for telecom service providers to set up a time to transfer telecommunication services from the old Mon General Drive location to the new one in the Harmony Grove TIF District.

“Right now, we are scheduled with our vendors to do the transfer from the old 911 center into the new 911 center in the last week of March,” said Smith.

The new Mon County 911 Call Center will be located at Harmony Grove, just above the location of Moutaintop Beverage Facilities. The site will not only include the state-of-the-art building but also a 9,600-square-foot garage for emergency vehicles. The call center will have blast-resistant exterior walls with a multi-layered building structure that will contain bulletproof doors and windows. With access to a new and improved communications tower located at the top of Harmony Grove, Smith expects a short turnaround once communication vendors complete their service transfers.

“We’re still working out with our vendors, Motorola and Frontier, and getting a date where all of the parties can be together to do the actual transfer,” said Smith.

When the new call center is complete, Smith expects the benefits to be seen twofold by Monongalia County residents. The most noticeable improvement for members of the community will be the improved telecommunications systems that will allow for clear contact between a dispatcher and a caller and with the eventual emergency responder. In turn, this is expected to help response times for incidents where minutes can be vital between life and death.

“We’re going to have updated equipment throughout the entire facility, we’ll have a refresh of our phone systems, our radio consoles,” said Smith. “It should help provide safety for the entire county,” he said.

The facility will also be located right across from another four-acre pad, and the county will have the right of first refusal if the facility is ever needed to be upgraded. It is also located where the new Interstate 79 Harmony Grove Interchange will be constructed, which will allow for increased access to major county roads in times of emergency. With the facility set to open in less than a month, Smith and emergency responders from across the county are ready to finish the move.

“It’s a long time coming,” said Smith. “Getting out of such a small facility from where we were, to be able to get over into a facility where we can bring all of our equipment onto one campus, it’s going to be a tremendous help,” he said.

Funding for the new Monongalia County 911 Call Center was approved by the Monongalia County Commission.