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Parking garage remains on schedule

By Staff
SURVEYING THE GROUND Charles Cole, foreground, and Bobby Walker of Simmons Consulting Engineering, survey the ground for the planned $7 million downtown parking garage on Tuesday after heavy rains doused the city. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Georgia E. Frye / staff writer
Aug. 13, 2003
Meridian's planned downtown parking garage remains on schedule and should be completed by August of next year.
Workers with Rod Cooke Construction Inc. of Mobile demolished the old BankPlus building on the corner of 23rd Avenue and Eighth Street in June about a year after city leaders unveiled plans for the garage.
When complete, the six-floor, $7 million parking garage will have 451 parking spaces.
Many officials view the garage as a key part of downtown revitalization a move that also includes the ongoing renovation of the Grand Opera House and Marks-Rothenberg building.
Lofton said demolition and excavation of the parking garage site unearthed a few surprises, including gas tanks and a structure that looked like a concrete bunker found under the old, long-closed Royal Theater.
The bunker contained contaminated soil.
Lofton said $145,000 – $150,000 was built into the budget to cover unexpected expenses.
She said the overall cost of the parking garage project will not exceed the $7 million original cost. But, she said, the contingency money could have been used for other projects.
Lofton also said she doesn't know how much it will cost to park in the garage once it's completed.