Fort Bend County will soon have a new emergency operations center.

County officials broke ground on the new facility during a short ceremony Feb. 1.

County Judge KP George during the Feb. 2 Commissioners Court meeting thanked the county’s emergency management staff for working diligently to make the project a reality.

“This is an exciting time,” George said. “We should have a brand-new, state-of-the-art building at the end of this year for the residents of Fort Bend County.”

The two-story building will be about 24,000 square feet and will consolidate offices and communications spaces to best accommodate the county’s response to weather, fire and other emergencies, according to county documents.

The facility will include an additional detached apparatus bay for emergency vehicles, according to the county documents. It will also include large training rooms, a media room, staff offices and support areas.

County officials have spoken about the need for repairs to the current facility or a new facility altogether for several years, according to a past Community Impact Newspaper report.

During Hurricane Harvey, for example, ceiling tiles fell, and water leaked through the ceiling of the center, according to the report.

The new center will be located in the 300 block of Fort Street in Richmond, according to a Facebook post by the county.

“What we are doing here is going to be here long after many of us are gone,” George said during the groundbreaking ceremony.