About 80 people were on hand last week as the Nueces County Farm Bureau and Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Companies held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new state-of-the-art facility designed to withstand a catastrophic hurricane.

"This new center is a Category 5 catastrophe center that will provide members and policy holders with reliable and prompt claims services if a catastrophe were to strike the Texas Gulf Coast area," said Texas Farm Bureau director of administration Darren Callaway.

The Nueces County Farm Bureau will occupy the new $2 million facility under a lease agreement. Texas Farm Bureau Insurance will move the existing claims operation in Corpus Christi to the new facilities in Robstown.

"The building will help to provide peace of mind to Farm Bureau members in the gulf region of Texas as we continue to prepare for any disasters that might strike the coastal region," Callaway said.

Callaway also said the new 8,200- to 8,500-square-foot-facility will be the first of its kind for both Texas Farm Bureau and Farm Bureau Insurance.

"These facilities will be among the most prepared facilities in the entire gulf region with the capability to respond to a wide range of catastrophes that might occur," he said.

Construction on the new catastrophe center is scheduled to begin by next week and will take approximately 20 months to complete, according to Texas Farm Bureau officials.