R’land looks to issue bonds for new city hall plus Lake Harbour work and park turfBy NIKKI ROWELL,
The city of Ridgeland is working to issue over $19 million in bonds to fund several city projects, including a new city hall, Lake Harbour extension, turf for each field at Freedom Ridge Park and a new parking lot at Walcott Park.
These projects are getting underway, and Mayor Gene McGee hopes to break ground on the two-story, 30,739-square foot city hall sometime this summer.
“My goal is that we break ground by early summer and actually bid the project and get it under construction this summer,” McGee said.
The city is currently in the protest period, which will end at the first meeting of the board of aldermen in May. This is when the city will set the exact amount for the bonds.
McGee said the city may not need the advertised amount of $19,960,000, and that number is on the “upside of what they could do” if needed.
A new city hall complex has been a part of Ridgeland’s master plan for years, as the current building is outdated, according to McGee.
His hope with the new city hall is to provide a user-friendly, easy to navigate building for residents.
The building will have a meeting room for the Ridgeland board of aldermen.
All city departments housed at the current office will move to the new building, which will be located off Highway 51 on the empty lot across the street from the Ridgeland library.
“We have had strong input from every department,” McGee said.
The location will allow all city departments to be close by, as the police department and public works are just down the street from that property.
McGee also plans to incorporate new technology in the new building to better cater to residents’ needs. Possible upgrades could include screens in the lobby with information for residents, including upcoming events.
According to McGee, the plans for the new building are 99 percent complete. Dean and Dean Architects are under contract for the project.
They are currently working up the final touches on the drawings.
“We’re very close,” McGee said. “I would suspect that that will be done by the end of May.”
As for what will become of the building city hall is housed in currently, McGee thinks it will probably be torn down and the lot sold for commercial use.
The property is currently zoned C-3.
McGee said the city intends to sell the property the current city hall is on after they have an updated appraisal.
After that, they will take sealed bids.
He said there is already interest in the property, and he is sure it will become home to a commercial development.