Oxford Conference Center wants facelift

By The Associated Press

OXFORD — The Oxford Conference Center is starting to show its age.

The Oxford Eagle reports that a new study has recommended the 8-year-old facility get more than $400,000 in improvements.

Interior designer Courtney Jones, who is the designer for the University of Mississippi, was asked by the Oxford Tourism Council to come up a plan to update the facility and make it more attractive.

Jones said replacing uncomfortable metal chairs was the top item.

Another simple improvement would be to replace the black plastic trash cans in the halls with stainless steel, silver receptacles with a top.

“It’s something simple that can be done that could really improve the look of the hallways,” Jones said.

Since first impressions are important when potential clients walk through the center looking to book an event, Jones said lobby improvements should be a high priority for the council to consider.

Her recommended upgrades for the lobby area, which include changing the tile and carpet and painting the walls and trims, would cost an estimated $74,800.

One of the improvements to the lobby was to use the large blank wall that faces people as they walk in the door. Jones suggested placing some form of large artwork on the wall, such as a large sepia-toned print of Oxford people and places or both. That would only cost about $7,000.

Other recommendations included upgrading the bathrooms, replacing furniture and updating audio and visual equipment in the auditorium.

The estimated cost to implement all of Jones’ recommendations is $406,346. She said the improvements could be spread over a five-year period.

Center director Hollis Green said the conference center could not afford the improvements and would need money from the city. The council hopes to present Jones’ plans to the Oxford Board of Aldermen soon.