THE MAX makes progress, opening date set for next year

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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Construction on Mississippi's Arts and Entertainment Experience, also known as The MAX, is moving along swiftly. There is a new opening date set for April 27, 2018. Project architect Bob Luke says progress is being made quickly.

"We are approximately 50 percent through with the construction itself. We are ramping up to start the interior construction on the exhibits,” Luke says.

One year ago, citizens of Meridian voted to have a 2% sales tax on prepared food and beverages. Through the month of July, the city has collected $1,366,775 to help support the project.

“I can’t say enough about the community supporting that. The impact has been amazing. The 2% sales tax has allowed us to keep the cash flow strong and keep the financial position of The MAX in a very positive position,” Luke says,

Upcoming plans for the project include the relocation of the tourism bureau and using that land for parking.

“We will be shifting parking and hopefully be creating another 200-250 additional parking spaces in the downtown area,” Luke says.

In December, an Initial opening is set. This will coincide with Mississippi’s bicentennial celebrations and will focus on the members who will be inducted into the hall of fame. The hall of fame is a pivotal part of the new structure.

“The big circle is the hall of fame, that’s the rotunda. It goes from the first floor through the roof. It will be like a shining beacon that will focus everyone on downtown Meridian,” Luke says.