The old Ocean Springs Police Department on Dewey Avenue has been vacant for almost a year, but next week it will re-open. The building will serve as a downtown substation for the police department.
Mayor Connie Moran said, "It was a priority of the board of aldermen that we renovate this building mainly for a substation and the downtown area. For all of the policemen patrolling the area to be located to do all the reports, to meet with the citizens and, of course, it will be the hub for all our downtown festivals."
The renovations also paved the way for more downtown parking.
"We are creating a lot of other public parking spaces on the south part of the building which will help accommodate our senior citizen center and our museum of art," Moran said.
The parking will also be used by dance students because the old courtroom has been transformed into a studio for the Parks and Leisure Services dance program.
Director of Parks and Leisure Services Geri Straight said, "We have over 60 students in that program has been located at the civic center and will now be located at their new Moving Arts Studio 2, so they won't have to be moving around, this will be permanent."
Straight said the dance teacher has had to share the space, even moving her equipment in and out every week.
"We have outgrown that and can offer a lot more classes, they can be a little more lengthy knowing this is her class, this is her space," Straight said.
There will also be an office for the Civil Services Commission. Mayor Connie Moran says a lot of the renovation work has been completed by city employees in order to save the city money.
"I am really just grateful to our staff," Moran said.
The police and civil service commission will begin moving their furniture in next week and dance classes will start on Tuesday.
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