Aesthetic changes to parking garage pay homage to City Hall in Oxford

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, October 18, 2017


While the Oxford Board of Aldermen gave a nod to the preliminary drawings last month for the city’s first downtown parking garage, Mayor Robyn Tannehill and a few of the aldermen weren’t completely happy with the aesthetics of the garage and said it appeared too “boxy.”

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Casey Rogers, with Innovative Construction Management who is acting as construction manager, was directed to go back to the drawing boards to tweak the design to make it more pleasing to the eye.

On Tuesday, the board approved the new look that pays homage to Oxford’s City Hall. The top of the stairway and elevator comes to a point like the front of City Hall on the side that will face Jefferson Avenue. The windows on the stairwell are under a rounded frame, also like the front windows of City Hall.

Alderman Ulysses Howell said he was glad to see the new design is modeled after City Hall.

Other windows were also made larger than in the original design.

The board unanimously approved the new design. Aldermen John Morgan and Mayor Robyn Tannehill were out of town and not present at the meeting.

The garage will be built behind the Oxford-University Club and will have 410 parking spaces with about 81 surface spots remaining in the current parking lot, giving the downtown area a total of about 500 parking spaces. It will sit about 40 feet from the corner of Jefferson Avenue and have three points of ingress and egress.

After the final drafts and site plan is complete, the plans will go before the Courthouse Square Historic Preservation Commission in the coming weeks to gain a Certificate of Appropriateness.

In other business Tuesday, the board:

  • Recognized Oxford firefighter Sammy Woodall for his efforts in organizing a ping-pong tournament recently that earned $1,600 that will be used to offer free or reduced mammograms for women without insurance.
  • Heard a report by Suzanne Ryals from Early Childhood Reading Development Partnership, explaining its goals and current kindergarten readiness scores in Oxford and Lafayette County.
  • Approved a resolution of support for Three Rivers Solid Waste Management Authority to amend its current solid waste management plan for a proposed medical waste sterilization facility in the Lafayette County Industrial Park.
  • Heard the First Reading of an ordinance amending the Land Development Code, consideration of the city of Oxford Vision 2037 Land Development Code and Zoning Map. A second reading and public hearing will be held at 5 p.m. at the Nov. 7 Board of Aldermen meeting.
  • Approved the preliminary plat for Updraft Investments for The Lamar, Phase 2 for 20 residential structures – 18 will be single-family homes; one building will consist of townhouses and one building will be rental apartments.
  • Approved an amended final plat for Woodland Hills Subdivision Lots No. 51, 52, 55 and 56, and a fraction of Lots 60 and 61.
  • Approved the amended final plat for Hathorn’s University Hills subdivision to reconfigure lot lines for Lots No. 104, 105, 106, 110 and 111.
  • Accepted the annual audit report and TVA annual report for the Oxford Electric Department
  • Denied a request from Mid-South Companies to lease four parking spaces during the construction of 1200 Harrison mixed-use development. With the pending construction of the downtown parking garage expected to begin in January, the city will lose 230 parking spaces during construction. Public Works Director Bart Robinson told the board he didn’t think the city could afford to give up any more parking spaces before the garage is built.
  • Accepted the maintenance of Price Street since the relocation project is now complete.