Renovations continue at new BPS HQ

Published 7:54 pm Tuesday, June 5, 2012

PUTTING UP SHEET ROCK for an office at the new Bainbridge Public Safety headquarters on Louise Street on Tuesday morning were BPS cadets, left to right, Chris Avery, Trey Mock, Tim Mixon and Ashley McMillan.

The City of Bainbridge is especially busy this summer, as it begins the City Hall renovation project and works toward finishing renovations to the new Bainbridge Public Safety headquarters.

The new BPS headquarters will be at the former National Guard Armory, at 510 Louise St. The City of Bainbridge originally donated the land on which the former armory sits to the State of Georgia in 1952. In January, the Georgia Department of Defense, having declared the property surplus, transferred the property back to the city for $120,000, which is the amount remaining on a bond issue the state took out several years ago to make improvements on it.

City employees — including Public Safety officers themselves — have kept busy creating eight new offices out of a large open space where troops used to gather, scraping off old paint, putting up sheet rock, sanding down walls and re-painting them. Officers have also refurbished 15 existing offices, working toward realizing a master floorplan that will allow BPS to be up-and-running in its new home by July 1.

Email newsletter signup

“We have plenty of office space in the new headquarters and it will actually be the first time that all of our officers and administration functions will be under the same roof,” BPS Director Eric Miller said. “For the past few years, our investigators and the officers, who were part of what was known as the VIPER team, were working out of a separate office.”

City Manager Chris Hobby said renovations on Louise Street are progressing at a rapid pace, in part due to the use of city labor, and said he was confident of meeting the July 1 goal.

“The push is really to have everything finished and everyone moved in by July 14, when the Adjutant General [of the Georgia National Guard] will visit for a formal hand-over ceremony,” Hobby said.

The current BPS headquarters on East Shotwell Street will be used as a satellite fire station. Including the West Bainbridge Fire Station and the new headquarters, there will then be three.

The budget for the BPS renovations is $100,000 — half from the city’s general fund and half out of the forfeiture funds the city has by seizing drug dealers’ assets, according to Hobby.

Items, for which the City Council has approved contractors’ bids, include flooring, asphalt, a rolling steel bay door, electrical work, locks, an entry gate and a security system, a phone system and an additional heating and air conditioning system.

Please see our related story: City to buy old armory