Officials tour site of new public safety complex
by Wes Mayer
On Wednesday, Newnan city officials got the opportunity to tour the construction site of the new public safety complex off Jefferson Street and to see how much space and security the new complex will provide the Newnan Police Department and Newnan Municipal Court.
The tour was led by Scott Gordon, the principal in charge of the construction project with architecture firm Clark Patterson Lee. A number of city employees, including Mayor Keith Brady, City Manager Cleatus Phillips, Police Chief Douglas “Buster” Meadows, Fire Chief David Whitley and members of the city council, took part in the tour. Construction began last fall.
The 30,000-square-foot complex, about 15,000 square feet on both floors, is being built by Potts Construction. It is designed to allow expansion for both the police department’s and municipal court’s space.
“There is not enough staff today to fill this building,” Gordon said, “and it is designed this way. That way, the staff can double or triple its number over time and fill this space.”
Gordon began the tour by showing city officials the blueprints of the building and the location of the building on the property. In designing the building, they wanted to make a clear distinction between public space and private space, he said – the first floor includes areas open to the public, but the second floor is entirely private.
The public will be allowed to enter approximately half of the building’s first floor, including the lobby, restrooms and the municipal court’s waiting room, which can fit around 150 people. There is also an elevator in the lobby to the second floor, but the public won’t have access past the administration lobby without authorization.
“That helps the officers not have to come into contact with people they don’t want to,” Gordon said.
Gordon said they spent a lot of money on the lobby and other public areas in order to make it a nice looking facility – the private areas are not as lavish, however. Also in the design, they tried to make the building look more traditional and less modern so that it ties into other buildings in the city and looks more appropriate for Newnan’s police department.
The remainder of the first floor includes a mass training room and a squad training room for the police department, holding cells, storage areas, the armory and weapon cleaning rooms, the crime lab and office spaces for dispatch and officers. There are also private quarters for the municipal court judge and break rooms.
The second floor is built like a race track, Gordon said, with offices located around the perimeter. The building includes a lot of natural lighting, he said. The inner areas of the second floor include locker rooms, restrooms, conference rooms, more training rooms and interview rooms, as well as cubicles for patrol and criminal investigations officers.
Although there is an elevator near the front lobby, the majority of officers will enter the building via stairwells on either side of the building.
The public safety complex was originally planned to be completed by the end of 2014, but construction was delayed because of severe winter weather earlier this year. The building was funded through the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, and its total cost is around $8.5 million.