POOLER (GA)- Shovels are hitting the dirt in Pooler. City leaders are breaking ground on their new municipal complex that  they say will change the face of downtown Pooler.

We’ve seen how Pooler Parkway has and is expanding. Now it’s downtown Pooler’s turn with this new municipal complex providing city leaders with a modern facility with a historical look.

“It’s not just a new city hall and police department, this is a kickoff for the revitalization of historic Pooler, this is the historic part of Pooler, this is where people grew up, this is a hundred years ago when it was incorporated and was just a small port,” says Pooler Mayor Mike Lamb.

The project will cost the city more than $18 million dollars. While it’s underway city manager Robert Byrd and other city leaders will work to promote more construction and commerce to come along highway 80.

“We’ll give opportunities and incentives to businesses to come in and to build to look maybe similar to this,” says Lamb.

For historical spaces already in tack along highway 80 such as the First Baptist Church, Rev. Darrel Bailey welcomes the new look.

“That will make sure that the old section of Pooler in my mind will always be a apart of the Pooler community,” says Bailey.

When highway 80 split into two roads, Rev. Bailey says that forever changed the look and feel of the small downtown. Surrounding the cities plans to incentivize businesses to build with a more historical facade in downtown, for the reverend he sees that also is a positive.

“I can’t speak to how businesses will handle that, but it could mean good to develop the ambiance of Pooler,” Bailey says.

The new complex will consolidate police and city government in one building with the courthouse replacing the old fire station. Lam says It’s an attempt to bring a new look to Pooler by city leaders, while also complimenting the growth the city has seen.

“There’s just a lot of growth that’s happening around here and we have been trying to stay with it in the size and shape that the government was and we’ve had to grow ourselves also along with everything else that’s growing around here.”

Below is a gallery of renderings and blueprints of the project courtesy of Hussey Gay Bell.