Renovations underway on Thalia Mara Hall ahead of USA IBC

Thalia Mara Hall
Thalia Mara Hall(WLBT)
Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 2:21 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Efforts to give Thalia Mara Hall a facelift prior to the International Ballet Competition are moving forward.

On Tuesday, the council approved spending more than $64,000 for improvements, including $46,000 to make repairs to the facility’s fountains.

The work comes days after Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba issued an emergency declaration over Thalia Mara and the Arts Center of Mississippi, in part, to speed up repairs there ahead of the USA IBC.

“Without the competition of the repairs, the city will be greatly hampered in its effort to host the USA IBC,” he said in his emergency declaration.

The declaration was effective beginning February 28, but signed by the mayor on March 9.

At its meeting on February 28, the council approved bringing on Benchmark Construction as lead contractor.

Work approved at the council’s March 14 meeting includes $46,189 to resealing and making other repairs to an exterior fountain, $14,600 for exterior building cleaning and $3,500 for HVAC servicing.

Projects were drawn up by Cooke, Douglass Farr and Lemons. Robert Farr, principal with CDFL, previously described the work as “small efforts, cleanings, repairs, landscaping to put the shine on the hall so that it would be ready for June.”

The USA IBC is slated for June 10-24 at Thalia Mara Hall. The event, which is held every four years in the capital city, brings in hundreds of dancers and thousands of visitors from across the globe.

The 2018 event was attended by more than 44,000 people, and had a combined economic impact of $12.5 million, according to city documents.

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