- Associated Press - Saturday, October 25, 2014

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) - The Oxford Board of Aldermen has approved spending up to $100,000 to save the existing old National Guard Armory frame and roof to turn it into a pavilion for open-air events.

The razing of the armory was stopped this week.

Demolition contractor Southern General had stripped the building of most of its outer walls along with interior rooms when work was stopped.

Oxford Director of Public Works Bart Robinson said the structure’s foundation is in good shape, and while the columns have some cosmetic damage from the demolition process on its walls, it’s not severe.

“There’s a little damage to the slab, but it shouldn’t be hard to repair. Your concrete is there, and your roof is there. I think we leave that roof on, saw the ends flush, put a new roof on top of the existing roof. Paving the parking lot is not going to be that costly in the grand scheme of things,” Robinson said.

Robinson said the city will have to renegotiate the demolition contract. The contractor will save the cost of further work, including breaking up and hauling off the slab, but will lose the sale of the frame, he said.

The old National Guard armory dates back decades, serving until 2001. It was a polling place as well as the first Oxford-University Transit facility.

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