Montgomery approves $3.4M bid for Garrett Coliseum renovation
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Major changes are coming to Garrett Coliseum in Montgomery.
On Tuesday, the city signed off on a $3.4 million construction bid to renovate about 20,000 square feet on the southside of the building.
Construction is already underway on what will eventually be four new locker rooms with air conditioning and bathrooms. The area will also include a green room with a kitchen. The space will be used to accommodate guests who use the facility for concerts, sporting events and more.
The city says renovations to the southside of the building will be done by September 2023. Architecture firm Goodwin Mills and Cawood is overseeing the project. The city is using a $5 million grant from the state to help pay for it.
According to City Council President Charles Jinright, the 70-year-old arena hasn’t had any major upgrades over the last 25 years. The city took ownership of the coliseum from the state in 2020 with plans to spend anywhere from $20-$30 million in renovations.
“Our whole goal is about trying to have a building you can use 12 months out of the year,” Jinright said.
So far, about $1 million has been spent on an upgraded electrical system, new lighting, plumbing and fans to help with cooling. Jinright said the next big move will be plans for a new roof, windows and air conditioning.
Jinright estimated renovations to the windows and air conditioning costing $6.5 million.
The once state of the art facility is in desperate need of repair, but the city is confident the millions of dollars they are investing in improvements will draw in more spectators and events.
“A lot of people in Montgomery have great memories of the coliseum. They’d just like to see it come back to the old days,” Jinright said.
Jinright said ESPN wants to use the facility for a college basketball tournament during the Camellia Bowl every year. The Federal Emergency Management Agency also wants to use the building for disaster relief.
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