Minor facelift on tap for Thalia Mara Hall ahead of USA IBC

Thalia Mara Hall
Thalia Mara Hall(WLBT)
Published: Feb. 28, 2023 at 10:45 AM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - With a little more than 100 days before the International Ballet Competition returns to Jackson, a contractor has been brought on to spruce up Thalia Mara Hall.

On Tuesday, the city council voted unanimously to hire Benchmark Construction to make minor repairs to the city auditorium, which hosts the two-week event.

“There are a lot of little projects that need to get done inside of Thalia Mara Hall to get it ready for the IBC... This is an agreement with Benchmark as a company to step in as a project manager and manage all of those small projects for us,” City Attorney Catoria Martin said.

The contract is for up to $75,000, with Benchmark to be paid on an hourly basis.

The scope of work was drawn up by Cooke Douglass Farr Lemons.

Robert Farr, principal with CDFL, described the work as “small efforts, cleanings, repairs, landscaping to put the shine on the hall so that it would be ready for June.”

“This is an approach to put the city’s best face on the hall and address the need in an expeditious way,” he said.

The USA IBC is slated for June 10-24 at Thalia Mara Hall. More than 100 dancers from around the world are expected to participate, according to the IBC’s website.

Council President Ashby Foote asked whether the hall’s fountains would be restored, while Ward 3 Councilman Kenneth Stokes asked if a statue outside the facility would be fixed.

“People try to take pictures with it and it’s in disrepair,” Stoke said.

Farr said Benchmark doesn’t have the capacity to make the repairs to the statue in time for the event but said “we are intending to clean it so that it will be a better representation of the city.”

As for the fountains, “the concept is to bring [them] back into operation. It may be an augmented system rather than trying to rebuild,” Farr continued. “It’s less than 100 days, so we are really on a timeframe that is going to be challenging, but doable.”

Farr said pending the council’s approval, contractors were ready to begin on March 1. Repairs are slated to wrap up on June 1.

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