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Bigger, better Lee County EOC building under construction

Bigger, better Lee County EOC building under construction

By Fox 4 News Staff. CREATED May 31, 2012

The new Lee County Emergency Operations Center will serve as the nerve center of emergency operations during a hurricane.

The current Lee County Emergency Operation Center -- built in the '70s originally as a nuclear fallout shelter.  It's served the community well, especially during the 2005 hurricane season. 

But the county has outgrown it, making a NEW EOC necessary.

“It's been a long time in the making. Some of us have been working on it for 10 or 15 years, and we're really excited it's coming to fruition.” Director of Public Safety John Wilson explains.

Wilson invites us to take a look at the 27,000 square foot building.

“They're really thick reinforced concrete slabs.” Wilson says.

It's built to resist winds over 200 hundred miles an hour -- stronger than the most intense hurricane -- and stands 32 feet above sea level.

“It's designed to withstand anything mother nature or man can bestow on your community. and still function as an emergency operations center.” Wilson says.

Just some finishing touches needed inside, and there's already a legacy in these freshly hardened walls.

“This is the press room, or at least it will be when it's done.  We're naming it after Booch de Marchi.” Wilson says.

Booch was a public servant who was the face of lee county for more than 20 years. He died of cancer just last year.  

We actually buried his ashes here, because of all the work he did for us.

Booch was a cornerstone of Lee County and is now surely proud to be part of this fortress that will see the county through its toughest times.
The new emergency operations center should be finished this summer and will be ready for the 2013 season.