Copeland: City to rebid plans for Gateway

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 12, 2005

VIDALIA &045; Vidalia will rebid a contract for construction of the Gateway Conference Center on the riverfront, Mayor Hyram Copeland said Monday.

&uot;We will rebid it by first of June and accept it in July,&uot; Copeland said.

Earlier bids received last month were about $1 million higher than the $4 million estimate for the facility, which will house a welcome center, conference room and chamber of commerce offices.

Email newsletter signup

Rebidding the project will push completion back a couple of months, Copeland said. Construction is expected to take about a year.

Copeland has said he does not want to change the size of the project, but he said Monday one of the ways the city could cut costs is to delete some parts of the project, with the intent to complete them later.

The facility will be about 25,000 square feet and will house a welcome center, conference facilities, chamber of commerce offices and an interpretive exhibit/display area.

Vidalia has received federal, state and local funding for the project &045; capital outlay grants, state funding for the visitor’s center and a local contribution of land.

The meeting space in the center will be about 9,000 square feet and will be able hold between 800 to 1,000 people.

Architect Wayne Coco has said he envisions the facility &045; which will have a three-story Mississippi River tower &045; as looking like a barge going down the river.

The facility will be located along the riverfront.

Town officials held a ground-breaking for the facility earlier this month, with Gov. Kathleen Blanco on hand for the event.