Construction costs on the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center are about $1.4 million over the initial contract price and work is running more than a month behind schedule, the center's board said Wednesday. The time overrun puts the projected completion date at Feb. 2, 2013, one day before Super Bowl XLVII.
Work on the building is about one-third complete, said Jim Besselman Jr., chairman of the convention center's construction committee.
Developers are updating a nearly three-decades-old portion of the meeting hall that first was used as the Great Hall of the 1984 World's Fair and housed its first convention in January 1985. It has not been renovated since. Construction plans also call for making the center's nondescript main entrance at Convention Center Boulevard and Julia Street more inviting.
A heating system also will be added to the 327,251-square-foot space. Heating had not previously been a concern because of the city's moderate climate in winter and the relatively few meetings held at the center in the coldest months. But as the convention center begins to try to expand its booking calendar to include January, it became a necessity.
Courtesy of The Times-Picayune