The city of Ridgeland could break ground on its new city center sometime this summer. This is one project that will be paid for with the $19 million bonds the city issued last month.
The city will soon begin accepting bids for the project, and Mayor Gene McGee said that process could take another month to six weeks to get a contract in place.
“It’s definitely moving forward,” McGee said.
The design process is complete for the more than 30,000-square-foot, two-story city hall facility. It will include a meeting room for the Ridgeland board of aldermen and office space for city hall employees.
Eventually, nearly all city departments will be housed in the city center, which will be located on 25 acres of land on the north side of School Street and the west side of Highway 51, near the Ridgeland Police Department.
The new facilities are designed to provide a user-friendly, easy to navigate building for residents.
A nonprofit created by local veterans is raising money to build a veteran’s memorial garden to be connected to the new city hall.
Residents will be able to purchase bricks to have names of veterans’ names on them. There will also be space for quiet reflection.
A new city hall complex has been a part of Ridgeland’s master plan for years, as the current building is outdated, according to McGee.
City officials had a chance to offer input on the new facilities to determine the best use of the space.
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.
The Ridgeland government has been operating out of this former commercial building that the city purchased between 1985 and 1989. Prior to that, the facility had been used by a company that made blueprints.
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.
The city hall will be the first building on Ridgeland’s new city center site.
The bond money will also fund other city projects, including Lake Harbour extension, turf for each field at Freedom Ridge Park and a new parking lot at Walcott Park.