HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Plans for the Hub City to have a state-of-the-art, multi-million-dollar public safety complex are still in the works.
Hattiesburg City Council recently approved to start accepting bids for the demolition of the former Hattiesburg Police Department, which will be the site for the new complex.
"Well, we approved to take bids to start the demolition process of part of the old Hattiesburg Police Department," said Hattiesburg City Councilman Jeffrey George.
Some of the facility, which is labeled as "historic," will be saved and restored, but the rest will be demolished, according to George.
"This was an opportunity for us to go ahead and get started with the project with some funds that we had left over from some other things," George said. "Really, hopefully reducing costs in the long run by going ahead and bidding this separately."
The city and council members' top priority is building a first-class facility in the Hub City, that is within the budget.
"We want to get our Hattiesburg police officers in a great facility, and this is an opportunity to move forward with this process, but bid this out at a lower rate and then continue to finalize the specs to do this building in full," said George.
The council and city officials went back to the drawing board after project costs started hovering around the $40 million mark.
"That is the goal of everything we do, is to save the tax payers money, and we do not want this project to balloon out of control, George said. "So we are trying to control costs as much as we can. That's something we are working to nail down right now about how we can lower the cost of the overall project and make this a facility that's going to be suitable for everyone, definitely under $30 million, hopefully under $27, $26 million, would be a great goal."
Advertisements for bids have been placed in local and statewide newspapers, with a pre-bid meeting to be held at the construction site on Jan. 16 at 2:00 p.m. According to the announcements, anyone who bids is strongly encouraged to attend the onsite meeting.