- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 18, 2014

ALEXANDRIA, La. (AP) - The Rapides Parish Police Jury has directed its attorneys to file lawsuit against the former design firm on the Rapides Coliseum renovation project.

The jury terminated its contract with Barron Heinberg & Brocato in August after the firm reported it could not complete the project within the $23 million budget. More than $600,000 had been spent on the project already. The litigation seeks to recoup some of that money.

The Town Talk reports (https://townta.lk/1g5NKYV ) the jury voted unanimously to file suit and demand mediation after meeting in executive session during its Monday meeting.

“We’re moving forward,” said jury President Joe Bishop. “They could not produce the product they sold to the citizens of Rapides Parish and the Rapides Parish Police Jury. Nowadays, you can’t do that to the public. You have to be held accountable.”

BH&B; was chosen to design the new-look coliseum over a proposal from Alliance Design Group LLC, even though Alliance Design principal Bill Tudor had spent months working on a design that was the basis for the $23 million budget.

Both designs gave the arena a new, modern exterior for curb appeal; increased seating and parking; and overhauled technology such as lighting, sound, video and electrical systems.

In November 2012, voters approved the $23 million bond issue - backed by a 2.5-mill property tax - to renovate the aging coliseum. Voters also passed a one-mill tax to fund coliseum operations over the next 20 years.

Several months into the design phase of the project, though, BH&B; reported to the jury it could not complete the project within the budget..


Information from: Alexandria Daily Town Talk, https://www.thetowntalk.com

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