Regents OK Building New State Emergency Operations Center
The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents voted Thursday to begin construction on the $370 million State Emergency Operations Center and agency headquarters for the Texas Division of Emergency Management just east of Austin’s Bergstrom International Airport.
“This project will allow TDEM to consolidate its staff and coordinate statewide emergency response efforts from a single location,” said Chancellor John Sharp. “Right now, TDEM staff are scattered across multiple locations and in rented office spaces.”
The $370 million total includes $9.7 million for land acquisition and just over $360 million to build the 295,978 square foot facility, which includes a five-story office building and the State Emergency Operations Center.
“With this investment by the Legislature and the support of the Governor and Board of Regents, Texas will increase its capabilities to better prepare for, respond to, recover from and mitigate against any disaster we face,” said Texas Emergency Management Chief Nim Kidd. “Communication and coordination are cornerstones of emergency management, and our new facilities will provide TDEM and our emergency management partners with the space and technology to more effectively serve our communities across Texas.”
The modern, flexible, state-of-the-art new State Emergency Operations Center will be 90,068 square feet and is designed to withstand 200 miles-per-hour windstorms. It will comfortably seat 300 people and will provide ample meeting rooms, space for a joint information center, a press conference room, a GIS workroom and space for food service. The new facility also provides adequate space to facilitate coordination between TDEM and its partner agencies and local community representatives, improving critical response operations and minimizing impacts to the state’s citizens and economy.
TDEM’s headquarters will be a combination of traditional steel-framed construction and mass timber.
The current State Operations Center in Austin was originally constructed in the 1950’s in an underground 13,855 square-foot bunker and the 70-year-old facility is no longer suitable to support emergency response operations for a growing state.
An artist’s rendering of the complex can be downloaded at https://www.tamus.edu/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/IMG_0738-scaled.jpeg
In other action, the Regents authorized construction of a $43.4 million STEM Education Center at Texas A&M-RELLIS in Bryan and a $49.9 million Nursing Education and Research Center at the Texas A&M University Health Sciences Center in McAllen.