In October, the Wiggins Police Department will have been temporarily relocated for two years. According to Chief Matt Barnett, the department decided to move out and renovate because of deteriorating conditions.
"Due to some issues we're having with the building, the mold, asbestos and just some serious water damage," said Barnett.
The building has been gutted, walls have been moved, and the square footage has even been expanded by 4,000 square feet.
"It's making progress. We've rearranged it some in there to suit our needs while we were at it," added Barnett.
The renovation is funded by two grants; one from the Mississippi Development Authority and the other from FEMA. To help push some of the funding through, the city called on Senator Roger Wicker.
"And we were just glad to step in and get with the federal side of it and make sure that the agencies in Washington and Jackson were working together," said Wicker, who toured the site on Wednesday.
The new square footage is the newly accessible second floor. According to the department, the upstairs was opened when the building's roof was redesigned to meet FEMA standards. The department says it will be used for classroom training and other purposes.
"A place that they can come in and walk around in and enjoy the space that we have and we want to have a little bit more mentorship with the kids also," said Officer Tim Hill. "We're looking forward to what this building is going to bring to the community, to the officers, and to the citizens of Wiggins," said Hill.
According to Chief Barnett, the new building should be ready for the department to move back in sometime during spring 2016.