Tupelo Coliseum declares roof emergency

By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – The Tupelo Coliseum Commission voted Friday to override bid rules during a special meeting about leaks in the BancorpSouth Arena roof.
During a rainstorm on March 4, numerous leaks started in the arena. Todd Hunt, arena director, said water collected near both bathrooms at the south concourse and in the box office. Puddles also formed in the arena.
The roof was installed in the early ’90s and has outlived its 15-year warranty.
“We had hoped we could get another couple of years out of the main roof area before we changed it,” Hunt said.
Christian Reed with The McCarty Company toured the roof and said the damage was too extensive for a patch job.
“There are probably 100 blistered areas on the roof right now,” Reed said. “Every blistered area is a potential for a leak.”
Bid laws would require the commission to advertise the job, which would delay work.
“We’re talking June before we get anybody up on the roof doing anything,” Hunt said. “I don’t think that is in our best interest.”
As the governing body of the arena, the Coliseum Commission declared the roof an emergency.
Next week, an infrared study will determine the extent of the damage, then the commission will invite companies to submit bids.
The type of repairs needed will dictate whether upcoming events at the arena will be rescheduled. At this time, no schedule changes have been made.
Work recently was completed on a new roof for the building’s administrative and warehouse space. That was roughly 60,000 square feet, and it cost about $600,000. The roof over the arena is 90,000 square feet.
Contact M. Scott Morris at (662) 678-1589 or scott.morris@journalinc.com.