Old LEC demolition moves forward drawing criticism from movie makers

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AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF) – It’s been vacant for nine years, but the wrecking ball is taking final aim at the old Law Enforcement Center 

“I just wish that the commissioners could see that they have a huge asset on their hands and they’re tearing it down,” said Augusta area movie producer Mark Crump.  

That’s the recommendation of the Administrative Services Committee. Voting in favor of demolition.   

In 2015 voters approved $1.5 million in sales tax money to bring the building down, but in March the bids came back hundreds of thousands of dollars over budget. 

“The word on the street is this was going to cost us $1.7 million and that we were going to be $300 thousand dollars over budget. The administrator and his team has gotten it within budget, that’s a good thing,” said Commissioner Ben Hasan. 

In December of 2019, commissioners voted to hold off on demolition because the old jail has been a good thing for Augusta movie makers, several productions filming there including The Suicide Squad set to open in August.

But now city leaders are preparing to end any additional future shoots.  

“It is very disappointing. I would like to see that kept. It looks like it’s finished this year,” said Commissioner John Clarke.  

“Once it’s torn down, we can’t get any of those movies back that are looking at Augusta, specifically because we have that jail. That’s your anchor store, that is bringing all these films in,” said Crump.  

For movies at the old LEC, commissioners are preparing the final cut.

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