By Eric Butler: CNJ correspondent
Jim Lewis of Schlegel Lewis Architects came armed with floor plans Wednesday for the proposed Curry County event center.
Event center committee members looked over sketches for the center’s site plan with no major opposition or, apparently, obstacles.
After county officials said several projects involving the event center could be done in-house, such as road grading, paving and landscaping, Lewis said he would work on a set of drawings for the in-house work.
“I was hoping for approval to proceed and we tentatively got that,” said Lewis, who now would like final approval from the Curry County Commission as a whole during next week’s regular meeting. “They’ll put it to a vote next week, but everybody seems to think it’ll go the way we want it to.”
Schlegel Lewis Architects earlier received approval from the commission to begin design on the building for the multi-purpose center, which county manager Dick Smith estimates will cost just over $4.2 million.
During the committee meeting, a few questions arose about the future capabilities of the building. While Smith said the arena would be used primarily for equestrian-based events, he added activities such as dog shows, cat shows and concerts could be held there, also.
Ronnie Brooks, a seven-year member of the committee, urged others at the meeting to stay focused on the task at hand as discussion moved to topics such as horse stalls and the types of seats in the building.
“Let’s get the building, get it started. Let’s try to rent it out one month and then another month,” Brooks said. “Then we can start paving. We may not have stalls when we first start renting the building.”
“It’s been talked through a million times — every detail. It is the nature of people to want to talk about it to the nth detail,” Smith said. “But right now we need to get the building built.”
Construction on the multi-purpose center will begin in the spring.