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Concrete poured for police firing range

Workers pour the new concrete floor in the ground level of the former Ellis building on Walnut Street. The new police firing range is planned to be on the ground floor. (The Vicksburg Post/PAT SHANNAHAN)

[01/11/01] The new police firing range planned for the ground level of a former appliance shop on Walnut Street is continuing to take shape as city workers Wednesday began pouring a concrete floor.

The building is adjacent to police headquarters and its purchase for $150,000 has been criticized since the appraised value was $75,000. Too, an inspection after the purchase revealed contaminants that made the building unsafe to occupy.

The previous flooring had to be removed because it was broken and saturated with oil and grease from former owners of the building, said Johnny Puckett, Vicksburg’s building maintenance director.

“We’re trying to prepare everything downstairs for the gun range,” Puckett said.

The range will share space in the basement of the former Ellis Appliance Repair building with offices and a locker room for the police department, he said. The two-level building’s main floor will become evidence storage.

Puckett said he hopes to have the project done by the end of the fiscal year, Sept. 30.

The Ellis Building work is budgeted from the city’s capital improvements fund, and $150,000 is allocated for the project.

Initial plans for the police headquarters building, now nearly four years old, included more training space and an indoor firing range. The interior plan of the building, however, was changed to save money.