By CRAIG ALANIZ
The South Padre Island City Council hosted a town hall meeting at the Hilton Garden Inn Monday to discuss the Convention Centre Expansion/Renovation Project.
Broaddus and Associates presented a plan that would go into action if the expansion/renovation project is approved.
Gilbert Gallegos, a representative from Broaddus and Associates, said the project goals are to update the current convention center and create the highest possible economic impact while not increasing property taxes.
The Feasibility and Master Plan Study for the South Padre Island Convention Center has been completed.
Broaddus and Associates said the existing facility is outdated. They said lack of a ballroom and breakout rooms hurt scheduling of prospective conventions to the Convention Centre and the systems within the facility such as technology and lighting are also outdated.
The current exhibit space is 8,000 square feet smaller than the current standard 30,000 square feet for small convention centers. Gallegos said the centre would benefit from adding space to the exhibit hall and adding a ballroom suitable for assemblies. He said current target markets are associations, corporate meetings and academic conferences.
Gallegos said the first priority is for the emergency repairs needed on the facility such as fixing the skylight fixture, a chiller replacement and sealing wall leaks. He said the second priority is to update the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. The third priority for Broaddus is the site and parking to meet new code standards.
The last priority is the expansion of the center. Gallegos said their plan is to expand from 76,000 total square feet to 115,000 total square feet by adding 7,500 square feet to the exhibit hall, a banquet hall of 10,000 square feet and 14,500 square feet of meeting and breakout rooms.
Financial consultant Dave Gordon said the total cost of the project from start to finish, including renovation and expansion, is estimated to be $30 million that will be funded from the Hotel Occupancy Tax and from the economic impact additional attendees which is expected to bring in $15 million more than the current facility.
Broaddus and Associates said the steps needed to continue with the project are to approve architect and contractor terms, begin master plan of existing site, begin conceptual design drawings, confirm program and receive cost confirmation.
The South Padre Island City Council said it expects to hold several more town hall meetings as more develops with the project. All studies and information is available on the City of South Padre Island website myspi.org.
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