By Dena Mellick, Associate editor
It was a gorgeous day Saturday for the dedication of Decatur’s new Beacon Municipal Center at 420 West Trinity Place. Three buildings are part of the complex: the Decatur Police Department and Municipal Court, the City Schools of Decatur Administrative Offices, and the Ebster Recreation Center. The area was once the heart of Decatur’s African-American community, called the Beacon Community. Special care was taken to remember and honor that heritage during the dedication and through a special exhibit that is on display in the Ebster Recreation Center.
After a brief dedication ceremony led by Decatur city officials, attendees toured the new buildings which overlook a grassy terrace. Lead architect Andrew Rutledge of Rutledge Alcock Architects of Decatur said working on the project was a “dream.” Take a look at the new center and some of the scenes from the dedication.
A crowd gathered outside Saturday for the dedication of the new Beacon Municipal Center. Photo by Dena Mellick
Decatur City Manager Peggy Merriss and Mayor Pro Tem Kecia Cunningham. Cunningham said it was important to acknowledge the history of the Beacon community and mark a new chapter. Photo by Dena Mellick
A marker in front of the new Ebster Recreation Center explains some of the history of Decatur’s African-American Beacon Community. Photo by Dena Mellick
Mayor Emerita Elizabeth Wilson explained how the city changed the name Herring Street to West Trinity Place. Beacon Elementary and Trinity High replaced Herring Street School until integration of the Decatur School System was completed in 1967. Current Mayor Jim Baskett surprised Wilson, unveiling a banner with the new name of the open grassy lawn: Herring-Trinity Terrace. Mayor Baskett said a plaque will replace the banner. Photo by Dena Mellick
The lobby of the new Decatur Police Department and Municipal Court. Decatur Police Lt. Jennifer Ross said employees working there are thrilled by the multitude of windows, which let in natural light. Photo by Dena Mellick
Decatur 911 dispatcher Jeremy Pickett (also winner of the southeast regional Smart Telecommunicator Awards) demonstrates the new sit/stand desks for operators who work 12 hour shifts. Photo by Dena Mellick
Decatur Chief Court Clerk Faye Brantley and Court Clerk Courtney Jackson show visitors the new Municipal Courtroom. Photo by Dena Mellick
The shiny new basketball court at the Ebster Recreation Center. Lead architect Andrew Rutledge said it was one of his favorite places within the new complex. Photo by Dena Mellick
The new City Schools of Decatur Administrative Offices in the Beacon Municipal Center. Last year, the CSD offices moved out of Westchester Elementary, which reopened for the 2014-2015 school year. Photo by Dena Mellick
The exterior of the Ebster Recreation Center within the new Beacon Municipal complex in Decatur. Photo by Dena Mellick