Downtown Old Federal Court receives updated renovations, residents' tax dollars used

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - City officials unveiled the new Municipal Court and 'Downtown Shuttle' Friday morning. The new renovations were used by tax-payer dollars.

The building is part of the city's mission to construct a new Public Safety Complex to house Municipal Court staff and first-responders.

Mayor Johnny DuPree said the updated building cost up to $800,000.

He said instead of renting a building for 3 to 4 years, they would rather renovate a former downtown building. "It would have cost the tax-payers a lot more to rent" said Mayor Dupree.

As the countdown to the Court’s debut began, Hattiesburg residents passing by the building saw crews power-washing and painting the exterior of the approximately 8,900 square-foot building, constructed around the 1900's.

City officials said the Old Federal Court is a historical landmark, and ensured renovations did not violate any preservation laws.

“Due to the age of the building and the historical significance we worked closely with Department of Archives and History to preserve the integrity of the original construction,” said Lamar Rutland, director of City of Hattiesburg Engineering Department.

“This is evident when viewing the exterior façade of the elevator as it is identical to the façade of the building, down to the color of the marble,” he said.

The new shuttle will transport citizens to and from the Court and other downtown venues. DuPree said the shuttle can help build revenue for the city.

"You know what time the shuttle comes by, you grab the shuttle, go to Porter House..or downtown to eat, you know what time it comes back to pick you up, and then you go back to your office" DuPree said.

The official grand opening will be held Tuesday, September 6 at 9 a.m.

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