Vidalia officials readying for move to complex

Published 12:02 am Friday, December 30, 2011

VIDALIA — Vidalia city employees’ bags are packed and ready to go as they prepare to move into the new municipal complex in February or March.

The complex will feature new buildings for City Hall, the fire station and the police station on a 75-acre stretch of land near Walmart.

City Hall will be housed in a 10,000-square foot building, the fire department will be in a 12,000-square foot building and the police department will be in an 8,000-square foot building.

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David Draut, project manager for Clark Construction of McComb, said the major construction is on schedule, but the time of year did affect the completion date.

“It’s always difficult when you’re trying to wrap up a job around the holidays,” Draut said.

With the major structural construction complete, Draut said the remaining work is specialty items, such as finishes and painting.

Mayor Hyram Copeland said with the majority of the current buildings being around 60 years old, it was time for new facilities.

The new City Hall building will feature more technology, space and feature a community meeting room for public use.

“Instead of spending a bunch of money fixing those, we just decided to build this new complex,” Copeland said. “We’ve grown out of our old buildings and are excited to move into our new buildings.”

Copeland said the new facilities will offer citizens and employees a more interconnected workplace.

“We will be able to operate more efficiently because they can walk next door and keep in contact with each other easier than before,” Copeland said. “It just makes it easier for everyone to stay in touch and connected.”

The new fire station will feature more training and living areas, along with improved equipment.

Copeland said the city’s current fire station and police department will be transformed into substations after the move.