Representatives of M3A Architecture of Jackson presented an update Tuesday on plans for the new Martin Luther King Recreation Center in Burglund.

Company architect Kusa Olutosin presented a modern design in gray and white that he described as a “simple building” that would mostly utilize the concrete foundation left from the previous rec center.

“Using the existing pad allows us to have minimal site prep,” Olutosin said.

The design included elements and measurements that Olutsin and his associates presented to the board late last year.

Those included 7,400 square feet for the gym floor, 300 square feet for seating on either side of the gym floor, 500 square feet for locker rooms and maintenance closets and 750 square feet for concessions and a ticket booth.

Olutosin said the building would be about 8,850 square feet total and, at $165 per square foot, would cost about $1.46 million.

However, the numbers presented total 8,950 square feet. City Administrator Dirkland Smith did not respond before deadline to a message seeking confirmation of the numbers.

Olutosin recommended a rubber floor for the gym instead of wood, but added that the city could advertise both, with one being an alternate option.

“The rubber floor is more flexible,” said M3A principal William McElroy. “You can use it for more events. The wood floor is better for sports.”

The addition of a stage was considered, McElroy said, but the stage in the MLK Center next door was considered sufficient.

Selectman Ronnie Brock noted an apparent lack of showers in the locker rooms, and Olutosin confirmed there are no showers in the plans.

“A lot of schools are going away from having showers” in their locker rooms, Mayor Quordiniah Lockley said.

Olutosin said a space now planned for a bathroom could include a shower if the board wanted to add that.

He also noted that the seating planned on either side of the gym floor would be stationary.

“I think the seating should be retractable,” Selectman Devante Johnson said.

Olutosin said the seating could be retractable, but retractable seating would cost almost twice as much as stationary seating.

The plans include space for an office and aerobics rooms, which Olutosin said could be plugged in later. Those spaces are not part of the square footage included in the $1.46 million in construction.

Smith said he believed the facility should have an office, so whoever managed the facility during events wouldn’t have to work out of the ticket booth.

Joyce Smith, the city’s recreation director, asked that the architects look at moving the ticket booth closer to the front door.

The recreation director also gave an update on efforts to renovate the Alpha Center.

She said two of the low bidders on projects at the Alpha Center turned out to be unlicensed, leading the recreation department to get new quotes for bathroom repairs.

She said the contractor quoting the lowest price for roofing repair had to revise that quote because the materials supplier would no longer honor the price originally offered to the contractor.

Those situations combined to bump up the cost of renovations from about $47,000 to $54,312. That is just $312 more than the $54,000 provided by Pike County to the city to cover repair costs.

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