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Friday, 10 December 2010 11:25
Jefferson Parish Council OK's More Money For Over Budget Performing Arts Center
Written by  Walt Bennetti

Despite opposition from Citizens for Good Government, the Jefferson Parish Council unanimously approved two change orders for the engineering firm Perrin & Carter adding another $567,960 to the already over budget construction cost of the Jefferson Performing Arts Center. The Council also extended the project's completion date to 12/31/11.

The Council is waiting on a report from the Legislative Auditor regarding the problems associated with the Performing Arts Center.

The construction of the Arts Center, which is now 68% over budget, was originally budgeted at $26.6 Million. The estimated cost is now $44.7 Million and many are projecting the final tally could exceed $48 Million and the building will not be ready to open before April 2012.

The Performing Arts Center was expected to open in 2009. Parish Officials are now estimating that it will open in November 2011.

Citizens for Good Government Chairman Margaret Baird said her group was vehemently opposed to additional spending on the Arts Center.

"This project has turned into a 'Gravy Train' for all companies involved in the construction," Baird said.

Jefferson Parish Councilman Chris Roberts countered that he agreed it was an "unfortunate situation" but "we can't leave a building there on Airline (Highway) unfinished."

by Walt Bennetti of ClickJefferson.com

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