City-Parish wants old Women's Hospital to be the new Police Department

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Baton Rouge City-Parish signed a letter of intent to buy the former site of Woman's Hospital. Baton Rouge Mayor-President Kip Holden says it could house a new Baton Rouge police department.

The non-binding letter of intent has been signed for the City-Parish to purchase the hospital's former 24-acre campus at the intersection of Goodwood Boulevard and Airline Highway for $10 million.

The sale would include the hospital building, medical office building, support services building, materials management building, parking garage and all surface parking.

City-Parish officials are still exploring options to fund the purchase, but Mayor-President Melvin "Kip" Holden said the deal is almost too good to pass up.

The existing police headquarters on Mayflower Street was constructed as a school in the 1930s. The aging structure was supposed to serve as a temporary headquarters when the Police Department moved there in 1989, but that has turned into a 23-year stay.

The Mayor said the former Woman's Hospital site would be converted into a Public Safety Complex with much-needed administrative offices for city police, but would not house prisoners.

"Preliminary estimates are that it could cost as much to convert the hospital to office space that can be used by the police department," Mayor Holden said. "But even if we spend a total of $20 million, that's a fraction of the cost of constructing a new headquarters facility."

The proposed purchase of Woman's Hospital will be introduced at the next Metro Council meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 12, for consideration in January.

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