Arts Center Scaled Back

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Paul Ott, president of the Board of Directors for the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center, says the board hopes lowering cost to build the project will encourage the Legislature to provide funding for the center in Meridian.

The estimated cost for Phase One of the project is now about $50 million rather than the $68.4 million previously projected.

Phase One includes a conference center and hall of fame, an amphitheater and a special events pavilion. Phase Two includes a performing arts center, a bandshell, and an artist-in-residency colony totaling $19.4 million.

Lawmakers provided no money in 2005 for the center. Ott says funding will be sought when lawmakers convene in January.

The center's board is hoping to fund the project with about one-third coming from the state, one-third from federal sources and the other third from local and private contributions.