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New food courts, restrooms coming to Memorial Coliseum

Work scheduled for Oct. 1 completion

Saturday, April 20, 2013 - 12:01 am

A nearly $4 million project will result in two large food courts and modernization of 61-year-old restrooms at the Memorial Coliseum.

The Allen County Commissioners on Friday approved a $3.96 million contract with James S. Jackson Co., which by October is expected to add food courts on the main concourse above the arena's original entrances on Parnell Avenue and Coliseum Boulevard. The Fort Wayne construction company will also upgrade many of the restrooms on the main level, which remain much as they were when the coliseum opened in 1952.

“There are going to be some dramatic improvements,” said architect Jerry Noble of MSKTD & Associates, noting that bathrooms would be equipped with LED lighting and no-touch sinks, toilets and urinals.

The addition of the large food courts above the two original entrances will make the concourse “wider and brighter, with new floors,” added General Manager Randy Brown.

The remaining main-level restrooms and those on the lower level could be updated next year, along with other improvements, Brown said. This summer's project will be funded with money generated by coliseum events.

Although Jackson's base bid of nearly $3.189 million was not the lowest of the six opened Thursday – Michael Kinder bid $3.184 million – Jackson's bid was deemed best after factoring in the cost of work not included in the base.