Coliseum construction set to begin this spring - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Coliseum construction set to begin this spring

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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5) - Construction is set to begin this spring for the remodeling of the Rapides Parish Coliseum.

Also, the Rapides Parish Police Jury is looking to get back the more than $600,000 that was spent by the original design firm for the project.

Barron, Heinberg and Brocato were fired earlier in the year.

"They told us they could do the project for $23 million and that is what the taxpayers of Rapides Parish approved," said Joe Bishop, president of the Rapides Parish Police Jury. "Once we approved that, the architect firm came back and said it was going to be up in $30 million range."

The police jury then decided to hire Alliance Design Group.

The group is hoping to present the design to the Alexandria fire marshall at the beginning of February.

"We have really been able to dig into the needs of what we needed to have out at the coliseum," said Alliance architect Bill Tudor. "What the state of the existing facility was, and then really got into the exciting part of what we needed to do to improve and bring it up to the standards of where it can really be of great use to the community again."

The last scheduled event for the Coliseum is the Cenla Shrine circus that will end April 13.

Construction should begin in April or May, and will take 12 to 14 months to complete.

"We feel like it is going to be very adequate," said Jimbo Thiels of the Coliseum Authority. "That the people will be well served, that their money is going to be well spent, and we won't have to come back and ask for more money to complete the project. The project is going to go on as scheduled and within budget. We will have an updated coliseum that everyone will be proud of."

News Channel 5 has tried to get in touch Barron, Heinberg and Brocato design firm, but they have not returned calls at this time.

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