City hires architect for performing arts center

City hires architect for performing arts center


RIDGELAND — A performing arts center, the next phase of a city center being developed here, has moved a step closer.

City officials this week approved engaging Dean Architecture for the design phase of the center just over a year after the new Ridgeland City Hall opened on the site off U.S. 51 at School Street. 

A motion to authorize Mayor Gene F. McGee to sign an agreement with Dean for the design of the Ridgeland Performing Arts Center passed with five votes and one abstention on the consent agenda Tuesday night.

Ward 2 Alderman Chuck Gautier abstained in case there were potential conflicts of interest for him. Ward 4 Alderman Brian Ramsey was absent.

“We are excited to get a contract in place with this architecture firm,” McGee said. “This will get us to a point where we can solidify a final design for the building.”

McGee said early estimates for the performing arts center have the building being built within the next three or four years, though first on the schedule is a lengthy design phase expected to take about 12 months.

Current estimates have the building at $22 million with a 1,000-seat, two-level auditorium. McGee said that they hope to raise the majority of the money for the building through donations. He said opportunities to contribute will include naming rights for the building. 

The building will go up directly across the parking lot from City Hall.

The City Center project has been a goal for city officials since it was included in the city’s master plan in 2008. That year the city bought the roughly 25 acres where City Hall now sits and obtained grants and permits for environmental cleanup on the site.

In 2014 the city released drawings of buildings in the City Center plan including city hall and the performing arts center.  

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