The Starkville Police Department is set to move from City Hall into its renovated police headquarters at 101 E. Lampkin St. and will host a ribbon cutting to celebrate their new station Jun. 30.
Staff and furniture will be phased in during the following weeks, according to SPD public information officer Brandon Lovelady.
The renovated building has 42 office spaces, a booking and evidence suite, an emergency operations center, a public community space, as well as maintenance and storage.
“It is designed to be somewhat flexible for office space, as personnel within the SPD tend to move around, advance, and change roles over time,” said Sally Zahner, the architect on the project.
On the first floor of the two story building, there will be an open, T-shaped public lobby at the front of the building, leading into two wings on either side.
The left side of the building will be a community room and public lobby that will be open 24 hours.
On the right side of the building, there will be operators, dispatch and records departments.
The back of the building will house the patrol divisions and a booking area as well as the evidence suite and storage, processing space, will also be located on the first floor.
An old stage in the back of the building that once served as a public space for local plays will now serve as a roll call room, training and conference space.
The renovated interior of the building is 24,000 square feet, and all mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection systems are being upgraded.
The exterior of the building is being brought up to code with new wall insulation, energy efficient window glazing, and a new roof.
Zahner did some research on the building and found a few sheets of original drawings during her research of the facility.
She discovered the site of the building design was adapted by local architects Stevens & Johnson from a prototype design by Overstreet in 1942.
Renovations being done to the historic building are permitted by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.
The building was one of four armories designed using the prototype by Overstreet, and once housed a jail with an officer who lived in the basement area of the building. It also served as city hall from the time it was built until renovations began in late 2015.
When the building was an armory, vehicles needing maintenance would be driven in through large, rolling doors on the east and west sides. The look of those doors is being replicated in the new building design.
The armory would move vehicles out of the back stage area to be used by the community for music or plays.
“They asked us to restore the exterior of the building as much as possible,” Zahner said of MDAH.
MDAH asked the design team to keep some early features in place, such as the outdoor handrails and small window bars. Exterior doors were replaced with ones that mimicked the original doors.
“I think the whole department is excited about being able to move into a new home, because we’ve really never had one. We’ve always occupied a building with the city hall. To have our own building is not only historic, but humbling,” Starkville Police Chief Frank Nichols said on Friday.
Carreon was previously a reporter for The Dispatch.