Board plans center

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 13, 1999

While city officials plan for a new convention center, the Natchez-Adams School Board is working on its own plans for the old one.

The school board voted Thursday to advertise for bids on the renovation of the old convention center, located next to Natchez High School.

&uot;I believe all of our boys and girls will be able to benefit from this facility,&uot; said Superintendent Dr. Carl Davis.

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The district bought the center and the surrounding Liberty Park land from the city earlier this year for $750,000. The board plans to convert the renamed multi-purpose center into a field house including a football locker room, weight room and eventually a band room.

Part of the central meeting area will remain open to seat up to 800 people.

The estimated cost for all three phases of the project is $583,000.

The plan should make good use of existing space, architects said.

&uot;Most of what we are doing is cosmetic improvements to the facility,&uot;&160;said Johnny Waycaster of Waycaster and Associates.

Board President Terry Estes asked if it would be more feasible to construct a new building where the Liberty Park horse barns were once located. The multi-purpose building is about 25 years old.

&uot;I’m just throwing ideas out,&uot; Estes said. &uot;What problems are we going to have down the road?&uot;

Board member Don Marion asked if the cost estimates could be expected to change much, while Davis encouraged the board to proceed with the plan.

&uot;If you think of the investment we make in the building if we don’t continue, that investment will be lost,&uot;&160;Davis said.

The board decided to advertise for the bids to get an indication of the plan’s total cost, broken down into its three phases.