PSAC II set for operation in 2016

The Public Safety Answering Center II located at 350 Marconi Street, as seen from the Hutchinson River Parkway.
Photo by Walter Pofeldt

A recently constructed call center in the Bronx wii improve the city’s emergency communication systems and 911 call response times.

On Thursday, June 4, the New York City Council Fiscal Year 2016 Executive Budget Hearings saw Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications Commissioner Anne Roest testify before the City Council Committees on Finance, Land Use, and Technology.

During the hearing, Commissioner Roest revealed recent developments regarding Public Safety Answering Center II located near the Hutchinson Metro Center on Marconi Street.

“We’re on track to take over from the construction firm in January of this coming year and in June 2016, we’ll have police in the building taking the first calls,” she said. “There are no additional overruns in this project and we are working within the budget.”

According to a New York City Department of Design and Construction spokesperson, the department is coordinating a phased turnover of PSAC II with the DoITT who will be its operator.

Situated along the Hutchinson River and Pelham parkways, the 252-foot tall facility is designed as a backup call center to receive over 12 million calls a year and will be responsible for the call transfer and dispatch of all emergency services within the city.

Costing approximately $900 million, PSAC II was designed by Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP and will be operated by the NYPD, FDNY and DoITT 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The facility will aid existing 911 services by fortifying NYC’s ability to maintain communication during a natural disaster or large-scale emergency and is designed to operate continuously under severe conditions.

PSAC II seeks to provide redundancy to PSAC I, the city’s primary call center located in Brooklyn’s MetroTech Center and should the city face a disaster or PSAC I somehow fails, PSAC II will continue to improve responses to emergency calls during such events.

Sitting on a nine-acre site, the 550,000 square foot cube building is a blast-resistant structure possessing few windows as a security precaution.

The DDC spokesperson added PSAC II’s occupants are protected from many man-made and natural threats as these windows have special protection features to ensure their safety.

PSAC II has a call-taking and dispatch floor for 911 calls, a secure data center to run the call-taking operation as well as office space and employee amenities.

The center’s unique serrated facade is made of recycled aluminum and was installed to offset its monumental stature and gives it a more rhythmic appearance.

Despite its heavily fortification, PSAC II also intends to provide a stress-free environment for its call takers.

This center’s lobby and cafeteria will feature a green wall behaving as a natural air filter which also serves to foster a relaxing atmosphere for an often stressful work environment.

PSAC II’s site includes a landscaped berm wrapping around the building which attempts to downplay the building’s enormous size, DDC explained.

“PSAC II is a large, ugly, monstrosity that is out of character for the community, however the one benefit is that there will be a constant flow of several hundred police officers to and from the building every day,” Councilman James Vacca said. “Anything that increases the police presence in the community is ultimately a positive.”

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