Board budgets $120.5 Million for Lubbock County Expo Center; targets May for ‘mobilization’
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - More than three years after the election to move the idea of a Lubbock County Expo Center forward, the facility still only exists on paper, which now includes more information, like a firmer price tag and schedule.
“This last year hasn’t been one of those glitzy times when you’re planning and designing and architects and so forth,” Randy Jordan told the Lubbock County Expo Center Local Government Corporation. “There’s not a whole lot to put out there. But, we’ve got to keep the people, let the people know that we are moving forward and that we are working diligently to hopefully bring this project to fruition.”
At the LGC’s mid-December meeting, project developers from Garfield Public/Private updated board members on current design and pre-construction activities. The presentation included a schedule in which the Spring of 2022 is targeted for movement on construction at the North University Avenue and North Loop 289 site.
“This is a targeted mobilization in May, all of course subject to the funding being raised and the county approving the issuance of the bonds, etc.,” Greg Garfield said.
The Lubbock County Commissioners were told by the Tax Assessor Collector’s Office on Dec. 13 that they had $5.5 million in the bank for this venue, collected by the hotel occupancy and car rental tax increased by the November 2018 election.
The additional bond process and private fundraising will be needed to fuel the Capital Budget for the project, which totals $120.5 million. Developers proposed a phased construction, with $90 million needed for Phase 1.
According to minutes from the LGC October meeting, Phase 1 would include a 10,000 seat capacity main Expo Arena, a covered warm-up Arena, parking lot for 2,000 cars and 52 RV hookups.
Additional phases include the completion of the warm-up Arena, a Livestock Pavilion, Exhibit Hall, additional RV parking, Equestrian Pavilion and more parking.
“The county, of course has the right to approve the final development budget and input into the construction agreement,” Garfield said. “We’re starting to draft that right now. We’ll include the county in that process. Then ultimately, the county will consider and approve the bond order for development funding subject to their satisfaction that the LCEC has secured the balance of the private funding.”
Garfield said there has been talk to set up a process to share information with the LGC board and the county in a “confidential setting” about the status of the private fundraising.
Jordan told the board that in the past few weeks outside naming rights “people that are substantial” had come forward.
“We’re doing what we need to do to hopefully bring this project to fruition,” Jordan said. “I believe I can speak for every member of our board, the LCEC board, those past and present, that we’ve all worked diligently to make sure that this project is for the benefit of everybody in Lubbock County.”
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