By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – It will cost $30,431 to prepare a foundation for the century-old Spain House, bringing its total relocation cost within a few hundred dollars of the originally estimated price.
In a 4-3 vote, the City Council on Tuesday accepted a quote by Lynn Bryan Construction for the foundation work. It’s the final component in a long-awaited project to move the historic Spain House from its current spot downtown to the Mill Village neighborhood. Opposing were Ward 5 Councilman Jonny Davis, Ward 6 Councilman Mike Bryan and council President Fred Pitts.
The council previously had accepted a $145,308 contract with Kosciusko House Movers to remove the structure from its existing site and haul it several blocks away, but the deal didn’t include preparing the foundation at the new lot.
Opposing council members had worried that accepting the first contract without a firm price on the foundation work could lock them into the project despite potential cost overruns.
The city doesn’t want to spend more than $175,000, almost all of which comes from a grant through the Mississippi Department of Archives amp& History. The grant pays for $140,000, the city pays $25,000 and Calvary Baptist Church pays $10,000.
Calvary Baptist Church owns the property and agreed to help with relocation costs if the city was able to move the house before Oct. 1.
Lynn Bryan’s quote brings the total project cost to $175,740. The Tupelo Historic Preservation Commission agreed to pay the $740 to keep the city’s costs to the original amount.
The commission has been working to save the two-story Colonial Revival house since 2009 after learning the church wanted it demolished. It sits on the corner of West Main and Madison streets in what once was known as the “silk stocking district” because of its upper-class homeowners.
It survived the tornado that swept through Tupelo nearly a quarter century later and served as the residence of pharmacist and businessman Robert L. Pound and his wife, who lived there until 1948. The Spain family then moved in and operated a funeral home downstairs.