Officials from the City of Purvis are looking forward to a new headquarters for the city’s administration, as a new Purvis City Hall is in the works for as soon as the end of this year.
Mayor Roger Herrin said the plan is for the Purvis Police Department to stay in the current city hall building at 136 Shelby Speights Drive, while city hall operations will move a few yards down the road to the current site of the Nearly New Treasures thrift shop. The move is made possible with the help of District 44 Senator John Polk, who recently secured a check for $700,000 from the state for the project.
“This way, we can have the police department where they’re at, and we’ll be across the street from each other, basically,” Herrin said. “(Polk) gave us the money for that building free and clear. I told Senator Polk, ‘Y'all need to do something for Purvis,’ and he said, ‘Well, do y'all have a need?’
"I told him we’ve outgrown city hall, with it being the police department and city hall, and it was built in 1968. So he said, ‘Let’s see what we can do with that city hall,’ and about six or eight months later … he got us $700,000. I’d have been an idiot not to take it. He wanted us to have it, and I gladly took it."
City officials are expected to take receipt of the funds in mid-September. A husband-and-wife architect team has rendered drawings for the facility, which the Purvis Board of Aldermen is expected to soon take a vote on.
“We gave (the current owner of the property) until September 15 to get everything he’s going to get out of it, and then we’re going to tear it down,” Herrin said. “We’re maybe looking at a December start, maybe - November or December.
“But that would be pushing it; I don’t really have everything put in place, other than I do have an architect hired and they have done some drawings. We’re going to really look at (those drawings) and say … this is what we want, and this is what we like. We’re going to wait on that check and then go through the bid process.”
Although an exact cost for the project has not been determined, the building will be approximately 4,000 square feet.
“If you got lucky, that’s around $840,000, so we may have to add $150,000 to (the funds we’re getting),” Herrin said. “But that’s furnished and everything. We’re not going to buy all new desks; we’re going to move a lot of them.
"So we don’t really know yet; lumber has come down, but we’re going to use a lot of brick. Brick is cheap, and you can do a lot with brick. We’re going to try to not spend any more money than we have to.”
The new facility will feature a drive-through for customers to pay bills and attend to other matters.
“It’s going to be super good; it’s going to be nice,” Herrin said. “Any time you build something new, it’s going to be a nice addition to town. It’s not going to be (haphazard) and flamboyant; it’s going to fit in with Purvis.
"I was really proud of (the architects) - they rode around, looked at the courthouses and all the other buildings. They’re trying to put something there that doesn’t look like a sore thumb. It’s something that fits in - it’s brand new, but it doesn’t look brand new. It’s going to look like Purvis.”