Public Gets First Look at Renovated City Hall

An open house was held at Meridian City Hall, set to open soon after 5.5 years of renovations and about $18 million.

The project was supposed to be done 2.5 years ago, but it has suffered setback after setback, delay after delay.

The cost to taxpayers was more money than anyone ever imagined when the project began.

"I've seen lots of boxes of Kleenex from all our employees, because this is an emotional time for them," said Mayor Cheri Barry. "It has been five and a half years since they have been in temporary city hall. So it's really been an emotional time because they're excited about the move. But it's kind of bittersweet. All of the elected officials are here now and they are in awe of how beautiful this building is and how well it speaks of our culture in Meridian, Mississippi."

Here's a look at just how overdue and over-budget the city hall renovation project ended up being. It was originally expected to open in the summer of 2009. The original cost estimate was $8 million, but ended up being more than twice that figure.

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