This article originally appeared in the Orange County Register on February 1, 2021.
The Orange County Transportation Authority plans to move its security, dispatching and emergency operations from Garden Grove to a new facility that will be built in Anaheim next to the 5 freeway.
The $38 million, 32,000-square-foot building, known as the Transit Security and Operations Center, or TSOC, will be put on a 2.9-acre property at Lincoln Avenue and North Manchester Avenue.
It will replace a three-decades-old facility that was not designed to accommodate emergency services or today’s technology, and that doesn’t have enough space, said Orange County Supervisor Andrew Do, who chairs OCTA’s board.
Trying to retrofit and maintain the old building would be expensive and would mean ongoing costs, he said.
“It’s cheaper basically sometimes to just start and build what we need rather than to try to maintain something that is obsolete for what we need now,” he said.
The money is expected to come from state and federal funds and won’t be taken away from bus service or other transit operations, OCTA spokesman Eric Carpenter said in an email.
Up to 100 employees may work in the new building, including those who handle dispatching, transit security, information system technologies and emergency operations.
With walls of video screens for use by dispatchers and the emergency operations center, the facility will be a sort of “nerve center” for OCTA, described Stantec, the engineering firm designing the building.
“This is a unique facility designed to be in operation 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and one we are proud to deliver in support of OCTA’s mission to provide safe, reliable transportation to residents across Southern California,” Stantec senior principal Patrick M. McKelvey said in a news release.
Carpenter said the project already has environmental approvals and design should be complete this summer. Construction could start by mid-2022 and the building is expected to open in 2024.