TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– For years, the Vigo County Central Dispatch Office has been working out of the basement of the old county jail.
It’s a crowded space that, according to Vigo County Commissioner Mark Clinkenbeard, has an unfortunate nickname.
“You don’t want to work in a, as they called that, the dungeon,” he said.
Relocating to a new space has been at the top of the list of priorities for county officials throughout 2023, and the finish line is in site.
After announcing the second floor of the community corrections building would be the new home for central dispatch in August, officials got straight to work– and now, Clinkenbeard said they are slightly ahead of schedule.
“It took a little bit to get here, I actually haven’t been for about a week, and the progress they’ve made in the past week is amazing,” he said.
They have been working to prepare the office for installation of computers and other equipment, which will take place in about two weeks. For Vickie Oster, the county’s 911 director, the first day in the new space can’t come soon enough.
“We are all so excited to be moving over here, to be able to finally see outside, to have a newly renovated area and so happy the county and the commissioners worked so hard to get us over here,” she said.
The extra room will allow them to provide a solo space for new employees to train, a process that can take up to a year, as well as two new positions, according to Oster.
“Everything is combined space down [at the old county jail,] so we’re all kind of on top of each other and this will be a whole lot easier,” she said.
The total cost is close to $1 million, according to Clinkenbeard, but he thinks it’s worth every penny.
“The total cost of this is somewhere between 900,000 and a million dollars. That’s for new equipment, that’s for the move, all the labor and everything, and it has been a great collaboration with the county council and the commissioners,” he said. “They’ve endured working in a condition that none of us would want to work in. To see this place here, it’s going to be state-of-the-arch, it’s bright, it’s clean, I’m just really excited for them.”
Both Oster and Clinkenbeard said they hope to have operations up and running in the new building around Dec. 15th.