JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - It's been vacant for years, now the city of Jonesboro is waiting on final blueprints to be signed off on to transform the old Army Reserve Center on Caraway Road into the new Jonesboro Police Department.
"It's been several years just to acquire the title to the building," Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin said regarding the old Army Reserve Center.
After a long, hard-fought battle to get the building, some initial work is already underway outside of the old Army Reserve Center to transform it into the new Jonesboro Police Department.
"Most of the work is gonna be, actually 90% of it is going to be on the inside," Perrin said.
Perrin told Region 8 News that bids were recently accepted and came in under expectations at $1.505 million. The city anticipated the renovation would cost $1.6 million.
Work should start in December and since weather won't play a factor with the majority of the work going on inside, the timeline for completion looks good.
"I think that we'll be totally and completely done and inside that building sometime in May," Perrin said.
Perrin explained this building will alleviate two major problems at the current PD: limited parking space for those attending court, but more importantly, the limited space in the current evidence room
"Having the addition of more space for evidence storage as well as a separate heat and air is very much important for the police department."
In 2010, the city purchased a four acre plot of land on Johnson Avenue with hopes of putting a police precinct there. Mayor Perrin said that idea still isn't out the window, he wants to see how well response time will be to that area from the Army Reserve Center and see if it warrants putting a precinct there.
"We think that we may not have to build a facility over on Johnson...now we don't know that but we will in 12-15 months."
If not, Perrin said they purchased the plot of land at a good price, $125,000, and they can see if it fits other needs the city might have.
As for the current PD, it will still be occupied by the court system and Perrin hopes they might be able to transform the police department's training room into an additional court room. Jonesboro E-911 will also use part of the building for training purposes.