A mockup of the building
A mockup of the building
RIDGELAND — An employee health center being built by the police department is scheduled to be open as early as February 2019 with construction imminent.

Aldermen unanimously approved a budget amendment of $89,416 for the police department last week to help finalize the project. City Clerk Paula Tierce said that this money was earmarked in 2018 and will not affect the final balance of the 2019 budget. Tierce went on to explain that the budget amendment was necessary because they expected to spend the money in the 2018 fiscal year.

Police Chief John Neal said at last Monday evening’s work session that work was expected to commence shortly.

“They expect to start moving dirt on Wednesday and say the project should take about a month and a half,” Neal said.  

The bulk of the cash for the 1,000-square-foot city employee accommodation comes from a $93,000 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi grant. 

City officials have talked about how the facility would be a benefit to city employees and fits with the city’s “healthy hometown” aesthetic and goals.

The project was announced in May when Charles N. White Construction Company offered to donate its services to the city at no cost.

“Basically, they will make sure the project is done right, meets code and work with the subcontractors,” Neal said at the time.

The building was also designed in-house by members of the Community Development Department to save on design costs.

The building will house free weights, treadmills and other equipment. The center will be located on the south side of the RPD campus just behind the Court Services building.