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Construction plans unveiled for new James Brown Arena

Published: Mar. 11, 2021 at 11:25 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - By September 2024, entertainment in Augusta could look a lot different.

It might be out with the old and in with the new James Brown Arena. On Thursday, we got the first look at the new arena design.

“That’s exciting and the level of detail what we saw today is only about 1% of the drawings that are actually going into the pricing of the venue,” said Brad Usry, coliseum authority vice chairman.

The plans show the arena would be about 10 stories high, with the outside building walls mimicking a stage curtain.

There will be space for public meetings and art displays. And the inside will have lounge space and local food options for concertgoers.

The old JBA would be demolished, and the new one would sit at ground-level. The project will also bridge together the arena and the Bell Auditorium.

“We will have two venues under one roof, nobody else in the state has that,” Usry explained.

The new designs included input from Augustans, too.

“We heard you. We will continue to listen. This is the second step of probably three or four steps for the project in terms of how we move forward,” Project manager H.B. Brantley said.

But how fast the project moves forward depends on your vote. The SPLOST 8 allocates $25 million toward the new arena.

And a bond referendum in November could provide hundreds of thousands more dollars.

“We would have to hit the pause button if SPLOST ailed,” Usry said. “And if we get to $25 million, we will be able to get to a point where we can, like I like to say, put a shovel in the dirt, and start construction.”

Planners say it’s opening the curtain for a new way to entertain and construction could start as soon as next year.

The project managers say the next set of more detailed designs will be presented in August and then another in October.

Friday is the last day for early voting on SPLOST 8, but if you can’t make that you can still vote on March 16.

The plans for the arena should be available online for the public to view as early as tomorrow.

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