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Posted on: June 4, 2017

Plenty of praise for new police HQ

A crowd of more than 60 people came out Friday for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and to take a tour of Greenwood’s $3.7 million renovated police headquarters.

The project, which took more than two years, transformed the “mid-century modern” building — built in 1967 — into a bright, efficient police station of tomorrow.

“Thank all of you for being here. It’s just a remarkable day,” said Mayor Carolyn McAdams.

“I didn’t think I’d be emotional but I think I am. We’re going to get through this and I’m thankful for it,” she said.

McAdams acknowledged the support of the project from the City Council. “They were all part of this great transformation of our Police Department.

The headquarters also houses the city’s Municipal Courtroom, judge’s chambers and court personnel offices. McAdams said she came to realize the headquarters needed major renovations after she got elected in 2009.

“This is indeed a wonderful day for the city of Greenwood. Eight years ago, when I stepped into the police station, I was taken aback. It truly was a dungeon and very dark and gloomy,” she said.

McAdams recalled telling then- Police Chief Henry Purnell “I don’t if you can spruce it up, much less clean it up.”

The old headquarters suffered from a number of problems — overcrowding of police officers, “no privacy — a nice word for interrogations — and unlimited access by unauthorized persons.
“Now, as you see today, that has all changed,” the mayor said.

The headquarters gives the men and women in blue an impressive new home, she said.
“I was just thrilled that we were able to show our police men and women how much we care about them and what they do to serve and protect us every single day,” McAdams said.

The mayor thanked Greenwood Utilities for providing $900,000 for completion of the project.
She also thanked Viking Range LLC for donating the appliances that are used in the headquarters’ break room. Police Chief Ray Moore expressed appreciation for those who came out for the event.

“Like the mayor, I’m going to try not to get emotional,” he said.

The building today is modern and likely the envy of police departments throughout the state, Moore said.

“I’m just blown away by this building. The hard work that went into it is absolutely amazing. This is truly a great day — not only for the police department but for the city of Greenwood. ... This dream today is a reality,” he said.

Moore gave his heartfelt thanks for the City Council for their support of the project. “Without you, we’d still be in the box,” he said, referring to the old headquarters building.
Architect John Beard of the architectural firm of Beard Riser, the architects of the headquarters, said the building’s redesign increased useable space by nearly 75 percent.

In addition, the building now has electronically controlled access and LED lighting. The building’s new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system meets the highest standards for energy efficiency, he said.

Municipal Court Judge Carlos Palmer, who had some input on the layout of the court and judge’s chambers, said the building will serve the people of Greenwood well.

“We look running to running a more efficient courtroom due to the additions that the mayor and the City Council have made.

City Council President Ronnie Stevenson said the building is worthy place for the men and women in uniform. “I’m overblown about it.”
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