City court receiving upgrade
The Ridgeland Court Services building will get its first major renovation in over 20 years after city officials gave Police Chief John Neal the go-ahead to hire an architecture firm to begin the design phase.
Neal presented a proposed agreement with Dean and Dean Associate Architects to Mayor Gene McGee and the board of aldermen at the board’s last regularly scheduled meeting on Oct. 5. Neal said the architects will begin producing drawings and he hopes to have a clear idea of the scope of the project in about a month.
“Hopefully we can get these designs done and get rolling by the end of the year,” Neal said.
Neal said the current agreement is for $35,000. The item was unanimously approved on the consent agenda.
The renovations, he said, will mostly concern the actual courtroom but the ceilings and floors would likely be redone. The current plan is to replace church pew-style seating with individual seats as well as renovating the areas where the prosecution and defense tables are as well as the judge's bench.
The project will likely include adding new lighting and doing significant work on the air conditioning for the room, he said.
Neal said he hopes the renovations will make the room more functional. He said he hopes it will be able to act as a classroom or large meeting room for law enforcement when court is not in session.
He said that to his knowledge the courthouse has not had any significant work done since 1999 or 2000.
Neal said that they are still working on plans but noted that the work would likely cause some shutdowns in future court schedules. He said that they are currently looking at alternate locations and other workarounds.