Board will seek repair estimates

Arena, auditorium to be renovated

The Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority voted Tuesday to seek qualifications from architects and engineers to oversee $5 million worth of renovations and repairs to James Brown Arena and Bell Auditorium.

An advertisement with more information will be published in The Augusta Chronicle notifying interested parties about the project and giving contact information.

Authority members Tuesday reviewed the results of a survey done by architect Nicholas Dickinson concerning what needs to be done from top to bottom, inside and out, at both facilities.

Interior work at the arena includes renovations of meeting rooms, the front entrance, sky boxes, restrooms and signs, and the installation of a new ice rink. Exterior work includes repairing concrete, treating the exterior skin of the building, repairing the façade and landscaping.

Extensive work will also be done to the mechanical and electrical systems and the roof, which might need to be replaced because it is out of warranty.

Plumbing work includes replacing boilers, rooftop air handling units and four concourse heating units. The survey also calls for a new fire alarm system and replacing all relay systems with new controls, in addition to relocation and replacement of the sound booth,

Work at Bell Auditorium would include replacing the carpet and main air handling unit that serves the audience area, replacing heat pumps, the chiller and adding a cooling system that serves the main lobby.

The survey also calls for replacing the emergency generator and the dimmer controlling the theatrical lighting.

The work will be paid for by $5 million of the $25 million in bonds the authority issued for work on the city's Trade, Events and Exhibition Center on Reynolds Street.

Coliseum authority member Shirley Darby asked whether the authority could pick local people as the subcontractors. Chairman Cedric Johnson agreed that the authority wants to give local contractors work.

Darby said it was a matter of fairness.

Authority attorney Ed Enoch reminded the members that the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down affirmative action and set-asides, and he asked her what she meant by "fairness."

"That they have a diversified work force," she said.

Johnson said he didn't see how they could put that in a contract but could work "to see that things get done."

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