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Renovations set to start on LPD offices

Renovations to the Laurens Police Department offices and municipal courtroom on West Main Street are set to begin Thursday (Sept. 1).

The LPD and city announced last week that the West Main Street offices, which also houses the municipal judge’s chambers and courtroom, were closed and would remain so for the duration of the renovation project, which is expected to take about a year to complete.

Plans for the project, which is expected to add more than 4,600 square feet of space to the existing building’s footprint, will bring the facility’s total space to about 17,000 square feet.

Final plans for the renovation were presented in June to city council members by Adeptus Architecture. Plans had originally called for separate judicial and law enforcement facilities, but those plans changed due to increased construction costs since the ARPA funds were attained.

The current plan calls for separate entry ways and exits to the  police and judicial areas.

Laurens Mayor Nathan Senn said when the plans were presented that it would allow the LPD to have all its offices and officers in one building as well in addition to adding room for future growth of the department.

“We have made sure the plans allow for future expansion,” Senn said when the plans were revealed. “We have tried to make better use of our existing facilities and renovate them, which is much less expensive.”

Since the plans were shared, the bidding process opened and closed for the $2.6 million project. Cisson Construction, based in Travelers Rest, won the bid.

“(Cisson) came in at $400,000 less than the next closest bid, so that’s going to save the city money that we can use somewhere else,” Senn said, giving credit to city council members for working to address capital needs.

The city is using funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to cover the entire cost of the project.

For the next year, the entirety of the LPD will be located on the second floor of the Truist bank building on West Main Street where the department already had administrative offices were located.

“It’s a little cozier than it used to be,” said new Laurens Police Chief Keith Grounsell, whose department has about 40 employees when fully staffed. “But as a new chief coming in, I like having everybody under one roof. It allows me to get to  know the people I’m working with everyday on a more personal level.”

The move also means some changes for the public.

“We ask that the public use the Caroline Street entrance of the building for any police business as the front entrance is for Truist bank access only,” a social media post from the LPD read. “(The LPD’s) entrance is located on the left side of the building if you are facing the building from West Main Street.”

The post also said that the side door entrance will be closed after 5 p.m. on weekdays and at all times on weekends. Anyone needing to speak to an LPD officer should call dispatch at 864-984-2523.

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