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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCXBI) — By the end of next year, Columbus may have a like-new convention center for everything from weddings to 1,000-person conventions.

The City Council Tuesday night approved taking out a loan of up to $2.5 million to pay for renovations of the 30-year-old Trotter Convention Center.

The Mississippi Development bank loan would pay for a new sound and video system, redesigned front and courtyard, new bathrooms and an elevator. Some council members worry whether the loan, which will be for 15 or 20 years depending on the interest rate, will be enough to cover the full cost of the items currently on a design committee’s wish list. A $600,000 elevator is the most expensive single item.

The council also approved a deal with an architect and the city’s new project manager, J5/Broadhaus that will cost $180,000 to design and oversee the project. Representatives of J5/Broadhaus promised the Council their work would save the city the cost of their $99,000 fee for the project.

The architect, who was chosen after other architects stepped aside over a conflict with the 6 percent the project managers were being paid, will be paid $80,000 and has 120 days to complete the design.

Bids could be awarded by January and construction take as much as 270 days.

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