By Ray Wilbur
Listen Up, Lansing
The Michigan State Police are moving from their newly built headquarters in downtown Lansing to the Secondary Complex near Dimondale, leaving office space open for the Department of Community Health and other state agencies to move into—saving millions of dollars for the state of Michigan.
Now that the MSP is moving headquarters to the Secondary Complex in Dimondale, there is a massive $46 million building in downtown Lansing looking for occupancy.
The Department of Community Health or DCH currently leases four different office space locations around downtown Lansing that will be dropped with no cost to the state, Sen. Rick Jones said, and the plan is to move the DCH and other agencies into the MSP headquarters according to Jones.
Staff from the Farnum building in downtown Lansing, and from the state departments of Technology, Management, and Budget and Licensing and Regulatory Affairs will move from the Secondary Complex into the MSP headquarters building in downtown Lansing as well the Department of Insurance and Financial Services.
“This relocation plan will help state agencies run more efficiently, and makes more sense than what we had before,” Department of Technology, Management, and Budget public information officer Caleb Buhs said.
Moving the Department of Community Health into the MSP building is projected to save nearly $30 million over a 10-year period, Jones said, and will occur over the next twenty months as a part of a huge state agency relocation plan, which is the best outcome that could have come from this situation, he said.
The Department of Community Health is also behind the move, and sees it as a way to expand into more space to better accommodate staff and citizens.
“Moving is an opportunity for us to better our line of operations and to improve unity with our staff,” Department of Community Health public information officer Jennifer Smith said. “So, we see this as a positive thing, it also allows us to move out of a leased building to a state-owned building, which saves money.”
The DCH’s move also facilitates better relations between DCH and a new department of Human Services that will be located in the old MSP building, Smith said.
Before the MSP ever moved to downtown Lansing, the state police leased buildings at three different locations in the area. Including the Secondary Complex in Dimondale and a location on Harrison Road which cost $1 per year and was the best fit for the MSP according to Jones.
In total the three locations cost nearly $6 million less than the cost of the new MSP headquarters in downtown Lansing according to a planning memorandum.
Now, the Secondary Complex near Dimondale will adequately house the MSP headquarters and already houses a state crime lab, state police post, state police training center, and is where the Emergency Operations Center is going to be built, according to the memorandum.
Although the state seemingly paid exorbitant costs for a now unnecessary police headquarters five years ago, this relocation plan will save taxpayer’s money that they would have been paying if the headquarters remained leased to the MSP, Jones said, and is one of the only ways to salvage this situation.
This relocation plan will save money but it will also help numerous state-run agencies operate more efficiently by bringing them closer together, Buhs said.