BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - It's a historical building that's been there since 1935. Now, its third tenant is flooding $6.9 million into renovations.
It is recognized as the old Baton Rouge Police Department headquarters on Mayflower St. Built in 1935 and purchased for $171,000, the 47,000 sq. ft. property was used as a school for the deaf.
In 1984, BRPD moved in. Last year, after BRPD relocated to Airline Hwy. in the old Woman's Hospital as its new headquarters, the Dept. of Corrections decided they would move into the building.
DOC started renovations last year as soon as BRPD made the transition. Now, walls have been ripped out and new floors have been poured in as Prison Enterprises and a credit union plan to call the building home.
Prison Enterprises is currently on Nicholson Dr. LSU is expanding its water college project and has bought out the land Prison Enterprises currently sits on, which is why they're relocating.
"It was announced a year or so ago that the water campus would be moving into the area where we're located on Nicholson Dr. Initially we were supposed to be out in April. We got that backed up to October," said Prison Enterprises Director Michael Moore.
Roughly 65 people will work in the building. Prison Enterprises will have a warehouse and showroom in it with the credit union the far left side of the building.
DOC was able to save $1.5 million by using inmates instead of contractors for specific parts of the project.
"We're using inmate labor and got permission. We got an exemption from the governor to use inmate labor to do most of the demolition and some of the construction," said DOC Secretary Jimmy LeBlanc.
The project is expected to be complete in October.