Two City Buildings Named for Hattiesburg Mayors

Two City Buildings Named for Hattiesburg Mayors

Hattiesburg, Mississippi – On Wednesday, July 5, the Hattiesburg City Council voted to approve the naming of the Hattiesburg Intermodal Facility (Hattiesburg Train Depot) and the Hattiesburg Public Safety Complex in honor of Hattiesburg’s two most recent mayors – J. Ed Morgan (1989 – 2001) and Johnny L. DuPree (2001 – 2017).

Naming buildings after former mayors is not a new practice. Hattiesburg has honored previous mayors with permanent memorials to both Mayors Bobby Chain and G.D. Williamson.

“I believe naming city facilities is not a responsibility we should take lightly. When we honor someone, several factors should be considered, including the position held, the overall record of service, and the person’s association with what is being named,” said Mayor Toby Barker. “For each of these respective buildings, Mayors Morgan and DuPree contributed a great deal toward the vision, funding and community support that made their completion possible. Both served our city admirably. The community’s progress over the past few decades can be attributed in part to their vision and leadership.”

The train station, originally built in 1910, occupies about 2.28 acres at 308 Newman Street. The building is approximately 14,000 square feet. In April 2007 a $9 million renovation of the station, using combined federal and local funds, was completed. Completed during Mayor DuPree’s administration, the vision casting and planning began under the Mayor Morgan administration.

“I have been proud and pleased with the development of the Depot. It should be noted this project has succeeded through the efforts of multiple administrations, and its historic value is priceless,” said Morgan. “It will be used for years by the citizens of Hattiesburg and the Pine Belt region.”

Planning for the public safety complex began as a discussion in the mid-2000s to address the necessary upgrades and needs of a growing department and court system. A project spanning a decade, this three-building, three-story facility is approximately 90,000 square feet is home to the Hattiesburg Police Department and Municipal Court. It houses offices and amenities for officers across all divisions, police administration, telecommunications (dispatch), records, a courtroom, court records and a community room that residents and organizations can use. It also incorporates the original Methodist Hospital which was home to the department between 1982 and 2016. Completed during Mayor Barker’s administration, the planning and architectural renderings took place under Mayor DuPree’s administration.

“Thank you to Mayor Barker and the Hattiesburg City Council for honoring my family and me in this way,” said DuPree. “We started work on this complex more than 20 years ago, and we are proud to have played a part in providing our police and court personnel a space to work where employees and citizens of Hattiesburg can be proud.”

The names of the buildings will read:

J. Ed Morgan Intermodal Facility
Johnny L. DuPree Public Safety Complex

In the case of the Public Safety Complex, the original Methodist Hospital building will retain its name as the Vinson-Everett Building, in honor of the city’s two fallen police officers – Patrolman M.W. Vinson and Patrolman Jessie James Everett.

Building dedications are slated to take place in the Fall.