Proposed civic center appears within budget

By Eric Butler: CNJ Correspondent

A proposed Clovis civic center may be smaller than some might like, but it fits in a $5 million budget, officials said Thursday.

An Albuquerque-based architectural firm presented conceptual drawings of a proposed civic center to Clovis city commissioners and to a steering committee on Thursday.
No action was taken, but commissioners said they may consider the measure at their next meeting in two weeks.

Architects displayed illustrations for a 30,000-square-foot center that would include an 11,000-square-foot ballroom and two meeting rooms — 1,750 and 1,550 square feet, respectively.

“As far as I can tell, it meets the needs of the city except that it could be a little bit larger,” said Commissioner Robert Sandoval, who’s also on the steering committee. “The reason it’s not (bigger), is because we don’t want to spend any more money than we have allocated for it. We’re trying to get what we can done with what we’ve got.”

Commissioner Kevin Duncan, also on the steering committee, said he’s pleased with the proposal.

“I know there’s going to be some comment that it won’t do this, it won’t do that,” Duncan said. “I want people to keep an open mind … and realize (the proposal) is open for expansion.”

Steve Perich, one of the principal architects for the design firm, said if the proposal is approved, groundbreaking could take place late this fall. He said it could be completed early in 2006.

Clovis News Journal Editor David Stevens contributed to this report.

The site for the proposed center is northwest of the Client Logic building, on a 27-acre site bordered by Seventh Street to the south and Schepps Boulevard to the west.

Perich said his company was directed by the steering committee to stay within a $5 million budget and to meet the highest priorities for usage within the community.

“At the top was a need for local meetings, between 20 to 50 people, so we needed rooms to handle that,” Perich said. “A close second to that were things like wedding receptions and banquets for local and statewide and regional groups. Further down the list to that were trade shows and consumer shows. So we tried to design the facility to respond to the highest needs.”

Designs presented on Thursday show the proposed civic center would have room for expansion to the north and east.
Perich encouraged the steering committee to make a decision quickly because costs for a project at New Mexico Junior College in Hobbs have escalated 10 percent in the last six months.

“Jimminy, that’s why we’ve got to get it done now, instead of waiting until it goes up another 20 percent,” Sandoval said.