BPS will soon move into new home

Published 11:41 am Monday, July 2, 2012

The former Marvin Griffin National Guard Armory at 510 E. Louise Street will soon become the new headquarters of Bainbridge Public Safety, which provides police and fire protection services to residents. The head of the Georgia National Guard will visit on July 14 to formally transfer the armory over to the City of Bainbridge.

Renovations to the former National Guard Armory on Louise Street are almost complete, as Bainbridge Public Safety officers prepare to move into their new headquarters.

General Jim Butterworth, the adjutant general of the Georgia National Guard, will visit Bainbridge on July 14 to formally transfer ownership of the Marvin Griffin Armory to the City of Bainbridge.

All Bainbridge Public Safety officers, as well as City of Bainbridge leaders and other dignitaries, are expected to attend the transfer ceremony on July 14 at 10 a.m.

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The public is invited to attend the ceremony, and afterwards tour the new BPS headquarters during an Open House. The armory is located at 510 E. Louise Street.

Public Safety staff and officers are expected to begin moving everything into the new headquarters sometime next week.

This past January, the Bainbridge City Council agreed to buy the former armory after the National Guard declared it as surplus property in 2011. The purchase price was $120,000—the amount remaining on a bond issue the state took out several years ago to make improvements.

The City of Bainbridge originally donated the land on which the former armory sits to the State of Georgia in 1952. In 2011, the Army National Guard consolidated its operations and moved the transportation unit that was based in Bainbridge to Thomasville, Ga.

The former brick armory building, located on 2.61 acres at 501 Louise St., was built in 1955 and is 18,925 square feet.

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.

Much of the labor for the renovation work was provided free of charge by city employees, including BPS officers, led by Public Safety Director Eric Miller and Fire Prevention and Code Enforcement Major Doyle Welch, who has his own general contracting company.

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 stations.