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Soil, concrete damage Jackson center foundation

Flagston Construction workers remove concrete from the foundation of the Jackson Street Youth Center site Thursday. (The Vicksburg Post/MELANIE DUNCAN)

[05/11/01] Despite delays in construction of a city youth center on Jackson Street, the project will be complete on schedule, according to a spokesman for the contractor.

Mike McNeely, project manager for Flagston Construction, said the foundation for the $1.6 million project was torn out Thursday because of problems in the soil and the concrete. McNeely said the foundation would be poured again next week.

“We’re not proud of it,” he said. But, “we’re a solid company and we’re going to make it up.”

McNeely did not offer further explanation of the problems, but said that the swimming pool at the former Jackson Street YMCA site had contributed problems setting the foundation. He also said winter weather caused some delays.

A change order was approved by Vicksburg’s board in February increasing the cost of the project by $22,398 to remove the pool.

North Ward Alderman Gertrude Young, who is in charge of the project for the city, would not comment.

“You’ll have to ask them about it,” Young said.

McNeely said he still expects to complete construction by September.

Work began across Monroe Street from the Vicksburg Auditorium in November on what will be the Jackson Street Creative Resource Center. The center will include a basketball court, two classrooms and two tennis courts.

The 60-year-old YMCA building was donated to the city seven years ago but it collapsed and the site was cleared three years ago.

Construction was first estimated to cost $1.2 million, but when the first bids were received in 1998, the lowest was more than $1 million more than budget.

Changes were made in the design, such as scaling back the college regulation basketball court in the original plans, and after three attempts, the contract was awarded last year.