Hub City officials aim to lower cost of public safety complex, construction date undetermined

Hub City officials aim to lower cost of public safety complex, construction date undetermined
Hattiesburg public safety complex /Photo credit: WDAM

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The city of Hattiesburg has relocated the police department and with that final move, plans to move forward with the city's new multi-million-dollar public safety complex hang in the balance.

On Monday, the city cut the ribbon on the $3.3 million temporary facility located on Klondyke Street, which was one of the last steps to move forward with the complex.

Plans show the new complex to be located at the former HPD facility on James Street, but demolition and construction will not begin just yet.

"I don't believe there's really any reason to start shoveling dirt at this moment, I think we need to sit back and get our cost of what this building is going to entail, get that straight and make sure we have all of our ducks in a row before we start," Ward 3 Hattiesburg City Councilman Carter Carroll said.

The original plans for the complex were roughly $25 million, but that price tag has steadily increased.

"Because they have really escalated from an initial $25 million price tag to now, it's $44 million and maybe climbing," Carroll said.

With the varying cost, city officials are taking their time moving forward with the demolition and construction of the new facility, but agree the temporary facility is a major accomplishment.

"The council is thrilled that the police are in the temporary building now, it's a lot cleaner place, they have more room, it's just a great place for them to be at, they have been well deserving of this for a long time," Carroll said.

Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree said he is even looking forward to the next phase of the project, but thankful to have the city's officers in a better facility.

"Hopefully a next step will be a permanent place, but this is certainly a step above, a step up, from where they originally were," DuPree said.

"But now that they're in there, I think it's time for us to take a step back, look, reflect, and find out what we can do to kind of curtail some of these climbing costs," Carroll said. "We just need to look at that, and we need to do this for the citizens and taxpayers."