Renovations on the way for 201 Poplar

(Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Nearly $17 million in renovations are coming to Shelby County's criminal justice center, located at 201 Poplar Avenue.

A few of the changes include cleaning up asbestos and bringing the building up to code, in addition to changing the building's appearance and functionality.

Teresa Jones, who has worked at 201 Poplar for 29 years, said she is looking forward to the upgrades.

"It's a great building," she said. "I think the building was built in the 80s, so I think an upgrade is probably long overdue."

Shelby County confirmed it's preparing for a complete makeover just as Memphis Police Department relocates to Civic Center Plaza. The move will free up space for the renovation work, which will happen during a 7-phase roll out. The projected cost for the first three phases is $16,500,000.

Shelby County's director of public works said the building suffered wear and tear since opening in 1980. It needs to be brought up to current high-rise code, as well as receive office space modifications, upgrades for those with disabilities, and electrical improvements.

Jones said technology upgrades would also be a huge help.

"We have real problems with getting Wi-Fi signals and things of that nature, so the technology, I'm excited to see what that might bring," she said.

The plans submitted to code enforcement for the first three phases of renovation will be bid on early next year.

The public works director was not available to discuss the renovation on Monday, but said he could go into more detail about the plans later this week.

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