BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Baton Rouge Metro Council approved $4.6 million Wednesday to renovate the new Baton Rouge Police Department's headquarters, which was formerly Woman's Hospital on Airline Highway.
There are old dentist chairs, dental tools, and a few other reminders of what used to be on the ground floor of the old Woman's Hospital Physician's Building. For years, a large office off the main lobby was a pediatric dental office. Two years ago, they moved out along with all the other doctors.
"They way it is now, it's more closed up," said Don Coppola, with the Baton Rouge Police Department.
Now that this is BRPD's new home, they say there are things on each floor that need to be redesigned in order to take the building from a medical facility to something more suitable for law enforcement.
"We're going to use what we can of the existing building, nothing major," said Coppola.
The department asked for $4.6 million from the Metro Council for those renovations.
That money will go toward making the old dentist office the new home for the Third District. It will also be used to open up the suites in the old doctor's offices. The offices inside each suite are not condusive to creating office communication. The plan is to open things up, while still salvaging some of the offices with window views along the perimeter of the building. That would help, they say for example, with the detectives and allowing them better communication to solve the city's crimes. The detectives will move from their office on Plank Road once the renovations are complete.
Another building on the campus will also need some repairs before it's ready to serve as the new police academy.
The actual hospital building will remain untouched.
Six months will be allowed to get the building ready for the majority of the police department.