Washington County dispatchers will soon have a new, stronger facility.

Ground was officially broken Wednesday afternoon for the new Washington County Emergency Communications and Emergency Operations Center. At the ground-breaking ceremony, Wellman Mayor Ryan Miller said he’s excited to see the project come to fruition, “I’ve been working on this for 10 or 12 years working on the committee. It’s just been a lot of work to get to this point. I’m really anxious to see everything come together. Not only for us, the elected officials, but for the employees of the communication center. They need a new facility and this will really help them out.”

The county is also upgrading all of the technology needed for the radio equipment so law enforcement and first responders can safely communicate with each other and dispatch at emergency scenes. The cost for both projects combined is approximately $11.3 million. The new communications facility is under construction next to the existing sheriff’s office on Lexington Boulevard.