- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 28, 2014

VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) - A make-over for Vicksburg’s 17-year-old convention center will cost $530,950.

The Vicksburg Post reports (https://bit.ly/1fq8TsL ) that topping the list given city officials this past week are the roof and air conditioning system, lighting and sound systems.

“We are getting close to that 20-year mark, and we have to look at the condition of our building,” said Erin Southard, the facility’s events and operations manager. “The HVAC (heating and air conditioning) system has to be repaired. There is no heat in the main office. The roof needs replacing. The lighting system and the sound system need to be replaced.”

Southard said repairing the lighting and sound systems is impossible because parts are no longer available for either. The current sound system, she said, is obsolete, and the company that installed the lighting system is out of business.

The biggest expense is replacing the roof - at $350,000. The cost includes replacing damaged ceiling tiles and repainting and replacing walls damaged by water leaks.

“We have tried to get the roof repaired in the past, but haven’t been able to do it,” Southard said, “so we’ve made repairs, but we can’t repair it any longer.”

Repairing the heating and air conditioning system, she said, is estimated at $12,000. Replacing the lighting will cost about $70,000, while the sound system replacement is put at $65,000.

Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said the convention center’s needs are included in the city’s capital improvements list, which is being reviewed by City Accounting Director Doug Whittington and City Attorney Nancy Thomas.

He said Whittington and building maintenance superintendent Sammie Rainey included the items on the list after a tour of the center.

City department heads in December prepared a capital improvements list for the city totaling more than $57 million. Flaggs said the total has since increased to $70 million with the addition of maintenance items for city buildings and infrastructure.

“There’re some things that definitely need to be pushed to the front burner,” said Alderman Michael Mayfield said. “Especially when you have a roof leaking, windows where the vacuum seal is gone and you have water leaking in your hall or down on your concert floor.

Mayfield said the city has done some roof repairs and cosmetic work at the center in the past, “but it’s getting to the point where time is going make you do some serious work and spend some serious money, because time has crept up on that building.”

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Information from: The Vicksburg Post, https://www.vicksburgpost.com


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