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The County of DuPage
Wheaton, Illinois

Press Release

Contact Information: Joan Olson (630) 407-6015 or Evan Shields (630) 407-6022

Monday, April 03, 2017

DuPage County, DU-COMM Break Ground on New Communications Center

Citing a commitment to public safety and efficient government service, officials from the DuPage County Board, DuPage Emergency Telephone System Board and DuPage Public Safety Communications (DU-COMM) hosted a groundbreaking ceremony on the site of DU-COMM’s new communications center. The new center will occupy more than 30,000 square feet of new construction and renovated space at the former DuPage Youth Home on the County campus in Wheaton.  

DU-COMM, a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) and Intergovernmental Entity, provides 9-1-1 emergency communications to police, fire and emergency medical services in the County.  Through county-wide consolidation efforts, DU-COMM has increased its membership to 44 agencies, outgrowing its current facility.

“This partnership provides a shining example of the County’s Accountability, Consolidation and Transparency Initiative. Our goal is to provide the highest level of service in the most cost-effective manner,” said Chairman Dan Cronin. “Consolidating 9-1-1 call centers has saved taxpayers $6.7 million annually, which helps to maximize our tax dollars.”

The new facility will cost $15,870,593. As part of an intergovernmental agreement among the organizations, the ETSB will contribute $4,000,000 to the project and DU-COMM will provide $4,300,000 of cash reserves. The cash contributions represent more than 50% of the project cost. DuPage County is financing the remaining $7,500,000 that DU-COMM will repay during the 25-year lease agreement with County.

“This project and its collaboration with DuPage County and the DuPage ETSB was an easy decision for our agency. Our agencies realized that we were getting the best solution for DU-COMM, and a great location here on the County campus,” said Mayor David Brummel, Chairman of the DU-COMM Board.

Over the last eight years, ETSB has worked to consolidate its total number of PSAPs in DuPage County from 22 to three. ETSB Chairman Gary Grasso brought forward the idea of bringing DU-COMM back to the Wheaton campus.  In 1975, DU-COMM began operations on the County campus before moving to Glendale Heights in 1995.

“Using the former youth home seemed like the perfect way to solve our desire to fully utilize our facilities, and DU-COMM’s need for an appropriate, high-tech communications center,” Grasso said. “In addition, municipalities can expect to see savings through reduced 9-1-1 infrastructure, increased interoperability and resource sharing for the delivery of 9-1-1 calls.”

Construction of the $15.8 million facility is expected to be complete by fall 2018 and will be co-located with DuPage County’s ETSB offices and the County’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

“This will truly be a state-of-the-art facility,” said Public Works Committee Chairman Jim Healy. “The 33,000-square-foot building will renovate existing space making the new DU-COMM Communications Center resistant to high winds and hazardous weather, as well as including vital internal safety measures. DU-COMM is investing in updated equipment and this move gives them space to expand, providing a 25-year solution for the agency’s facility needs.”