Newswise — ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Shovels symbolically speared the ground today at the site of Sandia National Laboratories new $42.5 million Emergency Operations Center.
The 25,000-square-foot complex located on Kirtland Air Force Base is expected to be operational by spring 2023. The center will house National Nuclear Security Administration and Sandia emergency management staff offices, the 24/7 Emergency Management Communications Center, dedicated incident management and coordination space and multi-purpose training rooms, among other functions. Summit Construction of Albuquerque was awarded the construction project.
“The new Emergency Operations Center at Sandia is a testament to NNSA’s commitment to modern and sustainable infrastructure across the nuclear security enterprise,” said Dr. Daryl Hauck, manager of NNSA’s Sandia Field Office. “This state-of-the-art facility will allow Sandia to conduct its emergency preparedness and response capabilities in a secure and effective manner that is protective of their incredible workforce and our neighbors in the local community, and better aligned with the magnitude of the important work being done at the labs.”
Emergency Operations Center Functions
Sandia’s Emergency Operations Center, activated during an emergency or crisis, is staffed around the clock by the labs’ emergency management specialists. The new facility will include functional and efficient space, tools and capabilities for emergency response professionals to identify, collect, analyze and share incident information with emergency response organizations – like Kirtland Fire Emergency Services, Sandia Medical Clinic or the University of New Mexico Hospital.
“The safety and well-being of our employees and surrounding communities have always been a top priority for Sandia Labs and the NNSA,” said David Stuhan, director of Environment, Safety and Health. “This cutting-edge facility integrates emergency communications, operations, planning, logistics and even emergency training and policy leadership in close proximity and improves our ability to share preparedness and response information instantly with Kirtland Air Force Base, the National Nuclear Security Administration, the Department of Energy, New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, local government and tribal authorities or the public.”
Sandia’s emergency management organization will be located in the new Emergency Operations Center and oversee the building’s day-to-day operations. Sandia’s Emergency Management Communications Center will be staffed 24/7 and support emergency and non-emergency calls. The new facility will provide space for three dedicated 911 call stations, two dedicated nonemergency call stations and one dedicated Sandia duty officer station.
The new building will have redundant mechanical and electrical systems, a back-up generator, showers and a kitchen with a pantry and dining area and temporary sleeping areas for resilience to operate independently for at least 70 hours.
Improvements with new Emergency Operations Center
The new center will provide numerous improvements to support Sandia’s emergency management organization and program, including response capabilities. Examples include:
- Larger and more flexible space.
- More area for a full emergency operations structure that aligns with the National Incident Management System.
- Accommodations for up to 102 center staff (62 in the main area and 40 in an overflow area), compared to the 18-staff capacity of the current center.
- A series of video walls and monitors that gives responders a common look at operations throughout the center.
- Advanced training areas with modern technology.
NNSA’s construction pilot project
Sandia’s new Emergency Operations Center is supported by National Nuclear Security Administration’s Enhanced Minor Construction and Commercial Practices (EMC2) initiative and is the fourth of four original EMC2 initiative projects to start construction.
EMC2 presents an opportunity to acquire non-complex, non-nuclear facilities that follow commercial best practices within NNSA requirements. This approach streamlines acquisition and execution processes, which accelerate delivery and increase buying power for commercial-like construction.