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City Hall Site Eyed for Downtown Parking Garage

Parking lot behind city hall is under consideration as site for proposed new city parking garage. / Photo By Hillary Houston
The Oxford Parking Commission has recommended the ‘Alternate A’ location behind City Hall as the best site for the proposed new city parking garage. / Photo By Hillary Houston

Following a recommendation from the Parking Commission, Oxford Mayor Pat Patterson and the Board of Aldermen are eyeing the downtown location behind City Hall as the best location for a proposed $7 million, 479-car parking garage.

With the site behind the Oxford-University Club no longer under consideration by Planning Department Director Tim Akers, the board of aldermen hired Birmingham, Alabama-based Design Professions at its bi-monthy meeting on Tuesday to firm up the costs and create a design for the site known as Alternate A. The board also hired local architects Howorth & Associates  to come up with design concepts of what the pedestrian corridor from the proposed new parking facility to the Square might look like when completed in 2014.

“The location behind City Hall  offers so many advantages,” said Oxford Mayor Pat Patterson. “The typography is better. It is by far the best site right now in my opinion.”

Akers said the next step in the process of bringing parking relief to the car-congested downtown Square is to decide whether to adopt a “design-build” or a design-bid-build approach to construction.

While the selection of a site for the parking facility and the hiring of design and architectural firms represent major progress on the project, Akers added,  “The big gorilla in the room is, of course, once we get a good idea of what everything is going to cost and what we get for that is, how to pay for it.”

Oxford’s Mayor Pat Patterson stated in a recent interview that the cost for a garage would be steep, but that ideas for covering the cost were in the works. Currently the Board of Aldermen is considering buying bonds to help pay for the garage’s construction, as well as paid parking options currently being discussed by the parking commission. –– Jared Senseman, senior journalism major, Meek School of Journalism and New Media

Email Jared Senseman at jrsensem@go.olemiss.edu

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