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$5 million in construction projects soon to start at James Brown Arena, Bell Auditorium

Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012 8:16 PM
Last updated Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012 7:05 AM
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About $5 million in construction projects funded by the Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority’s $22.1 million bond issue are getting started at James Brown Arena and Bell Auditorium.

Contractor R.W. Allen received the go-ahead Feb. 10 to begin the projects, Josh Small, the facilities director for Global Spectrum, which manages the venues, said Tuesday.

Allen was the low bidder for the project and was selected through a process handled by architect Nick Dickinson, whom the authority selected last year to design the improvements, authority Chairman Cedric Johnson said at an authority board meeting Tuesday.

The remainder of the bond issue has gone toward construction of the new Trade, Exhibit and Event Center, which is nearly complete.

But unlike the TEE Center, the civic center and auditorium improvements weren’t fast-tracked, Johnson said.

“We’re not really on the fast track because we’re still having events here,” he said.

Johnson said he expected no price escalation or change orders as the project moves forward.

Global Spectrum will announce the name of a sponsor of one of the improvements, a VIP club lounge at James Brown Arena accessible by patrons who purchase memberships, at a special gathering before the Elton John concert next Tuesday, general manager Monty Jones said.

The club lounge and seating “will be a revenue generator for us,” Johnson said. “I’m really excited about it.”

Jones said the bulk of improvements needed to wait until the facilities’ slow time in the summer.

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double_standard 02/28/12 - 09:41 pm
Rick Allen never met a

Rick Allen never met a government handout he didn't like.

tckr1983 02/28/12 - 09:43 pm
I hope some of the 5M is

I hope some of the 5M is going toward a new sound system/video board... it was pretty weak when the PBR came to town... As well as the roof leaking on me and the people around me in my section... that could use some attention as well.

blues550 02/29/12 - 08:55 am
That is a cheap aind unfair

That is a cheap aind unfair comment on Rick Allen. Last time I checked his job is to get bids, and put a whale of a lot of folks to work in the process. That being said...

...Not to long ago the areana and its authority were the laughing stock of the area. A bunch of bumbling fools collectively giving reports easy stories and the rest of us loads of laughs.

No more. This is a great example of government gone right and how proper leadership and management can shine.

nanowerx 03/01/12 - 10:51 am
How about take $5 million and

How about take $5 million and encourage promoters to actually get decent acts here? Saw Daniel Tosh and Brian Regan doing stand-up 2 years ago at the Bell, but hasn't been anything of interest since then.

Augusta is in the middle of Atlanta, Athens and reason the James Brown Arena and Bell Auditorium only bring in a smattering of events all year.

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