Interpretive Center predesign up for approval

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Selma Times-Journal

Plans for the Selma Interpretive Center at the corner of Broad Street and Water Avenue

are getting off the ground.

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The predesign package for the project is complete and should be reviewed by all involved organizations by the end of the month.

“It’s a study on the buildings and an analysis of the work that will need to be done, with an estimate on the cost of each phase of the project,” said Jim Heaney, program manager for the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail.

This work includes stabilization of the building, plans for parking and seating capacity for the theater and other areas of the building where groups will gather.

The package, described as a “broad, detailed document,” is being reviewed by the National Park Service, the city of Selma and the Selma-Dallas County Friends of the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail Association Inc.

Following the approval of the predesign package, several steps will be taken to complete the project. The first step is to develop partnership agreements between the city and the park service. After that, the project will enter the schematic design phase, where a clearly defined concept and potential design solutions will be developed; then, design development, the creation of construction documents and environmental compliance.

All of those must occur before actual construction.

Depending on which entity receives funds for the construction, either the city or the park service will have to determine which firm will build the center. The exhibits and parking are completed during the closing phase of the project.

There is not a confirmed completion date.

“The completion date will depend a lot on funding,” Heaney said.

The National Park Service is working to secure funding for the project.

The project has been certified as eligible for the National Park Service Centennial Park competition, which takes place in 2009 and would provide matching funds for the project.