Wight & Company has completed the design and construction of a new 9-1-1 emergency call center in Wheaton, Illinois. The DU-COMM 9-1-1 Communications Center launched operations recently, serving residents, public safety agencies and emergency personnel in municipalities across DuPage County in Chicago’s western suburbs. The new center is now the largest public safety communications center in Illinois.
The new center is the result of a concerted effort by local officials to consolidate county-wide emergency services into a single, highly sophisticated emergency communications center as part of the DuPage ACT Initiative, a reform program designed to improve efficiency, reduce duplication and encourage county-wide resource sharing. The consolidation effort involved cooperation between 22 municipalities, 11 fire protection districts and agencies serving DuPage County.
DU-COMM refers to the DuPage Public Safety Communications agency, which partnered with DuPage County and the DuPage Emergency Telephone System Board on the new call center. The new center now serves 44 police, fire and emergency services agencies in DuPage County. Dan Cronin, DuPage County Board Chairman, led the consolidation effort and oversaw the creation of the new building, which was designed and built by Wight.
“Six years ago, when I proposed that local governments could be more accountable, transparent and efficient, I never could have imagined that our ACT Initiative would inspire this state-of-the-art, sophisticated and sustainable emergency communications center,” said Cronin. “I’m proud that DU-COMM found its home back here on our Wheaton government campus. Emergency service professionals can collaborate each day, under one roof and provide outstanding, cost-efficient services for our residents. All 44 partner agencies are to be congratulated for their dedication to the needs of our residents.”
Wight’s involvement began with a planning and feasibility study at the start of the intergovernmental discussions. Working closely with local officials, the team identified an under-utilized site that had previously housed the DuPage Juvenile Detention Center. Wight’s architecture team developed a plan for a 34,000-square-foot complex that combined the renovation of existing space and new construction.
Wight served as construction manager on the $15.8-million project. Construction began in early 2017 and was completed on schedule in 18 months. The new facility is a hardened, highly resilient complex built to withstand extreme weather and high winds. It includes 32 dispatch consoles and has multiple levels of redundancy to ensure that emergency management services can be coordinated as effectively as possible.